Tag Archives: Texas VegFest

Come to Texas VegFest this Saturday April 4th!

The other day I was at Unity Vegan Kitchen eating the most amazing chimichangas and chatting with owner Leslie about Texas Vegfest where she will be vending along with many of our other favorite vegan food trailers. She talked about how at her first Vegfest she was so blown away by how many other people out there care about animals  just like us and what a fabulous community we have. She told me that Vegfest actually inspired the name Unity Vegan Kitchen which I thought was just beautiful. Sometimes as a vegetarian you can really start to feel alone when the default at any meal is always meat so it can be really heartening to be surrounded by other people who celebrate your lifestyle and are stoked on vegan food. Suddenly we get live in a world where the vegan barbeque has the longest line.

It’s also a world where you don’t need pants. 

Although I think that only applies to the very young, I’m looking into it.

You can find out about so many awesome companies, local vegan friendly businesses, activists, and community groups that you are sure to find something to be a part of. Here is a list of who is going to be there.

And then there are food demonstrations and talks about vegan health and fitness going on all day. I’m especially excited to see Jason Wyrick talk tacos and Mo from Mo Betta Vegan cook up easy spring dishes deviled cukes and blackened chickpea salad.

I’ll admit sampling food is my favorite part.

But there will also be live music, kids activities, and other goings on throughout the day. So come hungry and leave happy (wait is that the mcdonalds slogan? I watch too much tv!). It’s going to be a beautiful weekend.


Snapshots from Texas VegFest 2014

I got to attend another marvelous Texas Vegfest and I tried to take some pictures, I was so distracted by all the food and people it was hard to stay focused!

The line for BBQ revolution was so long I would have needed a wider lens to capture it. Or at least, you know, stood farther away.

I really wanted to try Red Rabbit’Yellowbird Sauce Donuts, but alas they were sold out before I got there. Red Rabbit is only for people that get their act together early and that means I never get to have it.

Follow Your Heart was sampling grilled cheese with their pesto mayo, and man oh man, I’m glad I waited for a batch to come up because it was one of my favorite things I tried. 

I was excited to see Aster’s Ethiopian Restaurant there, and so was Dan, he couldn’t resist their combo plate.

Counter Culture had a bunch of salads for sale, and they looked super fresh and tasty. 

I learned that Vegan Toonah is going to be available nationwide soon, in a little can just like fishy tuna. I tried it and thought it was very interesting. It didn’t really remind me of tuna but it wasn’t bad, just like seitan in a can.

I thought Tecolote Farm deserved the cutest booth award. I love their owl! I should have bought a shirt. I did get a Herbivore shirt that I love.

I waited in line FOREVER for Capital City’s Ham & Cheese Kolaches and then they sold out when I  was just about to the front. It was torture. I love those kolaches so much. 

I was stoked to try Hearty Vegan‘s fajitas and tuna salad. Dang, it was the best vegan tuna salad I’ve ever had! I loved it. The fajitas were good too! They were so popular that it looks like Hearty Vegan might start selling meal kits.

I was excited to see all my friends in booths, like the VRA gang!

I think I should have a booth next year called “Kiss the Puppy” and for a donation to charity you can kiss a puppy. I wonder if they would let me since it’s no dogs allowed. That’s even more reason there needs to be puppy love, though. Mostly during veg fest I missed our foster puppy.

I waited in another long line for Good Karma Kitchen, they are a food truck from Dallas and I loved their tacos last year so I knew it would be worth it. At the last minute I decided to get a deconstructed tamale with black-eyed pea relish and bloody mary salsa instead. It’s really a great idea for a home-cooked meal, maybe I’ll make my own version since god knows, I’m not going to Dallas.

I saw Teese selling vegan nachos and had to wonder why this isn’t a thing everywhere. Especially at the movie theater.

After that I saw the Happy Vegan Baker and I wanted to try her mac & cheese which everyone raves about and then decided to try the lentil shepherd’s pie too.

I loved the mac & cheese but that was when I definitely hit the upper limit of my stomach’s capacity, no Sweet Ritual for me! There were a million other food vendors, activist groups, charities, and businesses that I’m not even mentioning. If you haven’t been, you should definitive make it out next year. The music was really good too! Texas VegFest is just incredible, hats off to the organizers for pulling together another amazing fest. 

It’s Texas Vegfest Weekend

TxVegFestAustin- This is the weekend to go to Fiesta Gardens for Texas Vegfest and try all the best of what the vegan world has to offer. There are going to be people speaking about health, activism, professional fighting, and cooking plant based food including allergen free & even an instructor from the professional culinary arts program at The Natural Epicurean Academy.

There will be food vendors from all the different facets of the Austin vegan scene including, Indian, Ethiopian, Barbecue, Japanese, Tacos, Doughnuts, and cupcakes. Pretty much everything you could ever want to eat.

They will also have craft beer, live music, kids activities, and all sort of other stuff to do and see. And by the way, it’s free! (although there is a suggested donation.) Plus since it’s right on town lake you can ride your bike or even kayak there. And you can win stuff! And buy cool shit! And then eat more.

If you can’t wait, Friday night there is going to be a huge Austin Vegan Drinks pre-party at the Buzzmill complete with Vegan Nom Tacos, a hooping contest, ice cream, and vegan croissants!

So get your act together, find your best straw hat, and get ready to get ready to make this the best fest ever. If you want to read about last year’s event here’s my wrap up.

Texas VegFest 2013: a resounding success

If you look at my tweet cloud of the words I say the most “excited” is by far the number one. I’m usually excited about something. If I’m not, I get completely melancholy about how I have nothing to look forward to. For Texas Vegfest I think I might have just been too excited, I missed it last year because it was my bff’s wedding and thought that was one of the best events of my life, missing vegfest and hearing all about it just built up the anticipation even more for this year’s fest..  The night before I went to ATX Vegan Drinks with my friends from North Austin Vegans and had a fun time playing trivia even though my team abandoned me for the final round. Saturday was a freaking gorgeous day and by the time I finally got to the fest I’d already missed some events and sat down to see Dr. Montgomery talk about cardiology.

He was a great speaker, he talked a lot about how preventable heart disease is just by cutting back meat and that a lot of people know that and just replace beef with chicken. It’s not enough! He was dressed in his surgeons gear just in case any meat eaters showed up. I wanted to pay close attention but I just couldn’t sit still. I really wanted to get a shirt from Herbivore before they sold out. Then I got distracted by tacos.

Good Karma Kitchen had rolled in from Fort Worth to bring us their delicious tacos and noodle dishes. I got the barbecued Korean tacos with jalapeno cream sauce, sliced vegetables, and ginger pickles and they were amazing, and my favorite thing I ate all day.

I couldn’t believe the line for Arlo’s next door was a million times longer since Arlo’s is usually parked just down the street. They do have my favorite veggie burger in the world and people were waiting over an hour! I went looking for the Herbivore booth after trying some tempeh on a stick and then I ran into friends who wanted something sweet. We headed to Sinfull Bakery, I was stoked to finally try their Kolache after not being able to find one on a recent trip to Houston. I also tried one of their dark chocolate cookies and both were fabulous.

There were 5,000 people there and I saw so many folks that I have met over the years. It was sweet to see so many kids.

Actually, my favorite story of the whole day was hearing about a teacher that brought a group of her school children to volunteer for the day. Apparently she takes them to different places every other weekend to help out in the community and they had never even heard the word vegetarian before. They were really excited to see Omowale talk about boxing and wanted to try some of the food, but the teacher didn’t have the money buy them all expensive festival food and mentioned she would have to take them somewhere cheap like KFC. The Texas Vegfest staff heard about this and pitched in to buy them awesome local food from the vendors and they loved it! Meanwhile I was spending tons and tons of money gorging myself and Dan. I got him a plate from Aster’s Ethiopian because we don’t get up there enough and we love it.

We got to watch a very happy young lady dance for a while before she was joined by others,

But then I remembered I wanted to hear Colleen Patrick-Goudreau speak about how we are all taught to have compassion for animals but then we are taught to eat them too. She such an inspiring speaker. If you are considering trying to go veg I recommend checking out her 30 day program and her cookbooks. Halfway through the talk I remembered that I still hadn’t gotten my Herbivore T-shirt and by that time they had ran out of the one I wanted! Damnit! At least I’ll be in Portland soon enough. I drowned my sorrows in funnel cake.

and I got completely covered in powdered sugar.

The funnel cake completely did me in and I bought more treats for later.

And I missed so many other places I wanted to try. Mostly Unity Vegan Kitchen which I head everyone raving about. And the Happy Vegan Baker’s Mac & Cheese. And Capital City’s Cheesecake. And Counter Culture’s Sweet Potato Salad. And Sweet Ritual’s Salted Carmel ice cream in a Waffle Cone. There was a lot of food. I was so sunburned and exhausted I had to go home. It was all too much. As we were walking out Dan said, “you know the only vegan I didn’t see was Wes” and then there he was, waving to us goodbye Big Tex style.

It was that kind of a day.

Interview with Texas VegFest Vendor Amelia Raley

Texas VegFest is tomorrow April 6 at Fiesta Gardens and people have already started celebrating, I’ve been enjoying watching photos from Herbivore Clothing, Food Fight Grocery, and Vegan Houston as they populate my instagram with Austin’s vegan goodness. Tonight is the Texas VegFest edition of Vegan Drinks and they are even going to have vegan trivia so bet there at Cheer Up Charlies! If you are curious about the festival details check out my interview with board member Molly to learn about the bands, speakers, children’s activities, and more and go to the official website. And join the facebook event. And follow on twitter. Earlier this week I interviewed speaker Christy Morgan and today we are getting the vendor perspective from local ice cream proprietress extraordinaire Amelia.

I’m so excited that Sweet Ritual is going to be one of the vendors at this year’s Texas VegFest, first can you tell us what kind of treats we can expect?

We’ll bringing several flavors of scooped ice cream, including dark chocolate, salted caramel (which is soy free!) and a few other flavors. We’ll have cups, cones, sundaes, caramel by the jar, and t-shirts to sell.

Oh that sounds so good, is this your first vegfest?

We were there last year with Salted Caramel soft serve

What was your favorite part about last year’s event?

As a vendor, I didn’t really get a chance go see the lay of the lend or participate in the fest because we were so busy serving ice cream. When we sold out early, I brought out my hand-cranked phonograph and played music for passerbys.

Serving ice cream kind of sounds like the best job ever but I bet it is actually really difficult. What is the most trying aspect of participating in something like this since you all aren’t usually very mobile.

We have to contend with ice cream melting at outdoor events. We’re bringing an arsenal of waffle cone bowls, so, if it gets too hot, everyone will have delicious ice cream soup!

I love waffle cones. I think I have even dreamed about them. OK last question, if you get the chance to trade ice cream for a snack from any other vendor what would you be most excited to try.

We are super-duper excited about Atkinson Candies from Lufkin, Texas being at the show with our favorite candy – Chick-o-Stick!

Oh, wow, I just looked at that list for the first time in a few months – I can’t believe how many vegan bakeries we have in Austin. That’s so amazing!

It’s going to be a great fest! Thanks so much for answering my questions and I will see you there!

Interview with Texas VegFest Speaker Christy Morgan

Texas VegFest is this Saturday April 6 and I am so excited I can’t stand it. I think I should stop eating now to get ready. Or maybe eat a whole lot to stretch out my stomach? How does that work anyway? If you are curious about the festival details check out my interview with board member Molly and go to the official website. And join the facebook event. And follow on twitter. It’s going to be a hell of a time and you have to get their right at 11am to beat the lines and to get a good spot to hear author Christy Morgan do the first talk of the day at 11:30. I asked her a couple of questions so we would know what to expect.

Hi Christy, can you tell us a little about what you do?

My professional focus is teaching others how to make delicious, plant-based meals whether that be through my cookbook Blissful Bites, with recipes and videos on my blog, private and public cooking classes, or with my online wellness program Wellness Reboot. I travel quite a bit teaching at festivals and conferences.

In my personal life I’ve become pretty obsessed with fitness and working out. I’m training for a triathlon later this year so I’m working out a few hours a day 6 days a week. Eating a whole foods vegan diet, with ample protein, has done wonders for my active life. I’m able to push myself harder each day and lift more weight. I actually have bigger muscles than I ever did before I went vegan. It’s pretty awesome. I workout at Beyond Fit during the week, which is a gym run by a vegan. You don’t find that everyday!

That’s for sure, is there going to be a Beyond Fit presence at Veg Fest? Did you hear boxer Omowale Adewale is going to be speaking? Maybe you two should have a showdown. 

I actually saw Omowale when I was speaking at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival but didn’t have a chance to say hello. I’m excited to meet him this time! I’m always down for a showdown 😉

Yes, Chad and Beyond Fit will have a booth there and also the guys from VeganProteins.com will be there flexing their muscles. I love how these guys are proving that you don’t need meat or whey to be an athlete or bodybuilder!

I heard you are also going to be making food for us to try, can you tell me about it?

The focus for my cooking demo is on protein-filled dishes and a discussion on getting enough protein as an athlete. Since my life is all about training right now I’ve been experimenting with my diet and the amounts of protein that allow me to build lean muscle mass and recover from my grueling workouts. But it’s not just about smoothies, I’ll show you a few delicious way to incorporate protein into your diet.

That is exciting! God knows, it’s the number one question we seem to face as vegans, so I will be happy to have some more answers. Speaking of diet, is there anything in particular are excited to try at this year’s festival? There are a lot of vendors.

Well, I plan to fast the week before so I can eat at as many food vendors as possible. I can’t even name my favorites…I want to eat at them all! There’s such a great list of vendors this year; some names I don’t recognize so I’m excited to check them out. Thankfully my talk is at 11:30 so that will give me the rest of the day to enjoy the festival 🙂

I hear that! What, in general do you like to indulge in, when you are going to go all out?

I love me some desserts or pastries of any kind. One reason I work out so hard is so I can have treats every once in a while and not feel guilty about it haha. Capital City Bakery has the best naughty treats and I’m addicted to the gluten-free chocolate mini donuts from Mr. Natural. Counter Culture always has a delicious cheezecake too!

I haven’t had the mini donuts from Mr. Natural! I will have to check them out.

Thanks so much for your time Christy!!!

Texas VegFest Needs Volunteers

Last year was the first VegFest for Austin, even though we have been known for our veg-friendly ways for a thousand years. It took a group of people who were prepared to just get shit done to finally make it happen. I’m always amazed by the hard work and dedication that people have. I get overwhelmed organizing my pantry so I don’t know how these folks organize all the vendors, permits, bands, speakers, and god knows what else that goes into making such a huge and successful event. I know one of the most important aspects is that tons of people volunteer to help out and (obviously if you read the title) I am going to ask that you consider helping out too! There are great perks like you get to meet a bunch of awesome people, you get to go to the fest, you get to help the community and the animals, and when people ask you “what did you do over the weekend” you can have a better answer than “I layed around getting caught up on the past week’s general hospital on Hulu”. You get a cute T-shirt too so you can prove that you went to all the naysayers that didn’t believe you.

There are jobs for all skill levels so if you’d rather help with the planning and administration or work with kids, or clean the whole thing up afterwords, you will be able to find a spot.

Right now they are looking for Volunteer Team Leaders, the first volunteer meeting for team leaders is February 9. Team leaders are people who want to head up a group of volunteers on the day of the festival and in some cases in the weeks before for tasks like sending out flyers. They’ll have a more active role than your average volunteer. They can contact esti@texasvegfest.com to sign up.

They will also need volunteers in general to help with speakers, music, booths, entry, kids’ activities, set up, tear down, and general tasks. People can sign up for that on the website here: http://www.texasvegfest.com/volunteer/

So sign up and help make the fest super awesome.

Texas Veg Fest Countdown: An interview with Molly Frisinger Festival Outreach Director

I thought it would be fun to spotlight some of the different things going on at Texas VegFest, because I want you all to go! I want you to LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK and tell all your friends that this shit is happening. It is going to be so awesome and well worth a trip!

As you may know Molly is a friend of mine and the voice behind The Lonestar Plate, the vegan blog of Texas and Texas Chili cook-off champion. I want to call her a tireless advocate for veganism but I happen to know she is really quite tired from working around the clock on getting everything ready for Texas VegFest. She answered a few questions for us about the festival this weekend March 31

Why do you think Austin needs a Veg Fest?

People are constantly saying, “You can’t be vegan in Texas,” and yet here we are in Austin with a thriving vegetarian and vegan community and so much interest in plant-based cooking. We wanted to create an opportunity for everyone to get together and celebrate the great vegan food and resources that Texas has to offer. We especially wanted this to be an opportunity for people who, maybe they’ve heard about Meatless Monday or they have a cousin who’s vegan, and they’re interested in learning more but don’t know where to start. Texas VegFest is that place. Eat some tasty food, learn how to cook a few vegan meals, and just have fun with it.

What are you most excited about, personally, at festival?

I love to cook, so I’m really looking forward to seeing two of my favorite vegan chefs do their thing. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is making comfort food favorites like mac’n’cheese and BBQ seitan with her special twist, and Terry Hope Romero is making tamales, which have always intimidated me a bit. And really, if I’m honest, I’m looking forward to trying samples from all my favorite food companies like Upton’s Naturals, NadaMoo, Gardein, and Tofurky. Rumor is there will be some new products introduced at Texas VegFest!

I heard you are going to have some fun activities for children, which I have noticed many people seem to have. What kind of stuff are you going to have for them to do? (I want to tell my neighbors so maybe my street will be quiet for once)

Yes, surprisingly, a lot of people have kids! We’ll have a section of Fiesta Gardens set aside for kids’ activities. There will be a moonbounce, a gardening activity sponsored by Urban Patchwork, and games and activities to encourage healthy eating. There’s also lots of space to run around.

What do you think the foodies would be surprised about regarding TexVegFest or veganism generally?
A lot of people focus on what they’re giving up when they go vegan, but what I experienced, and what a lot of people experience, I think, is that it opens your cooking horizons. I’m not sure I’d be so comfortable cooking curries, making my own bread and pizza dough, or exploring grains like quinoa and millet if going vegan hadn’t nudged me out of my comfort zone.

I think Texas VegFest is a good example of this. If you look at the food our vendors will be serving, you’ll see samosas, chaat, empanadas, burgers, tamales, Ethiopian, Frito pie, Indian, hot dogs, TexMex, Mac’n’Cheese, and more ice cream and baked goods than you can imagine. It’s just a huge variety of foods.
It sure sounds like a lot of great food, what other adult entertainment is there going to be? I guess that kind of sounds like I’m expecting strippers….
That was a setup so I can talk about Purrfect Pineapples, wasn’t it? They’ll be there with their custom-made animal-friendly lingerie. In fact, bring your wallet, because Herbivore Clothing, Stay True Organics Tattoo Aftercare, Monkey Wrench Books, Back to the Roots, and Vitamix will all be there, too.

In between shopping and stuffing your face, we’ll have some great speakers and music as well. Dr. Michael Greger has an interactive presentation about health eating, and bodybuilder Robert Cheeke will be there to discuss fitness. If you haven’t ever seen Robert Cheeke talk, you’re in for a treat. I’ve never met anyone so extraverted and outgoing before. Erica Meier of Compassion Over Killing has a really great speech about getting more veg options in restaurants, as well. And on the other stage, we’ll have music by Roxy Rocha, the Wheel Workers, and other great Texas bands.
Now everyone is going to think this whole damn interview is scripted so you have forced my to ask something totally off the wall. If you could wave a vegan wand on one Austin restaurant which would it be? And don’t give me some activisty answer and pick something just because it’s popular and more people would eat vegan just because of that. Where would YOU love to go if it was the same menu but all vegan versions.
Mandola’s Italian Grill, or really any pretty good neighborhood Italian restaurant. I can get a really nice Italian meal at Asti or Sagra, but I miss having a neighborhood pasta joint where I can get ravioli, eggplant parm, and a salad with that tomatoey house dressing that all Italian restaurants have.
Thanks Molly for your time and for all your hard work with the festival!

Texas VegFest Countdown- Interview with Robert Cheeke

I thought it would be fun to spotlight some of the different things going on at Texas VegFest, because I want you all to go! I want you to LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK and tell all your friends that this shit is happening. It is going to be so awesome and well worth a trip!

People have all these preconceptions about vegans. Sometimes it can totally throw me off like when people think I am going to be some sweet demure earth momma. Talking to vegan bodybuilder and animal activist Robert Cheeke reminded me how different we can all be. He is someone who works tirelessly to improve his health and fight the cause while I’m laying around thinking about nachos. Robert started down the veg path when he was just a teen volunteering with Food Not Bombs and doing Animal Rights Week at his school. He recently moved to Austin because he wanted to get some sun (we’ve definitely got some of that) and training but I got to ask him a bit about what he thinks of Austin and being a vegan.

Hi Robert! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions. Have you tried any restaurants here in Austin that you liked?

I went to Mother’s on Valentine’s Day with my friend and liked it a lot. It was a combination of a sit-down casual dining experience along with a fairly quiet feel to it, which I enjoyed. I’ve also been to Bouldin Creek Café and had a great Sunday Brunch with friends. It is a little busy and trendy for my taste, but the food and overall experience was enjoyable. For dessert I’ve been to both Sweet Ritual and Toy Joy and had some pretty good treats there. I’m not one to eat treats often, so I don’t expect to frequent those places regularly, opting for fruit as dessert instead, but as a social experience with out of town visitors or a meet up with locals, they are fun places to go.

While on tour a couple of years ago, the experience that compelled me to move to Austin (I just signed a 10-month lease last week), I went to Mr. Natural, Beets Café, Wheatsville Co-op and of course the iconic Whole Foods Market flagship store. I’ve been to three potlucks at Rip Esselstyn’s house as well. I plan to go to Counter Culture and explore more vegan and vegan- friendly places in Austin during my time here. In general, my objective moving here is to focus on my fitness training, book writing, and outdoor activities in the sun. I don’t necessary go to a lot of vegan places, often times preferring to eat at home working on my projects, but when the social opportunities present themselves, I’ll make my way out. I somewhat got a lot of my dining experiences out of the way in my initial few weeks in the city and now it is time for me to get down to business editing my book.

I know that you first became vegan when you were pretty young and, I would imagine not quite as buff as you are these days. Do you notice that people treat you differently when they find out that you are vegan and a bodybuilder as opposed to scrawnier vegan kid?

I’ve been vegan since 1995 and I was 15 years old at the time of my lifestyle change. I weighed 120 pounds back then and recently have been as heavy as 195 pounds. I think the primary reason people would interact with me any differently now is because they find my physical transformation intriguing. Perhaps as an athlete I am taken more seriously now too. I still have a very long way to go to achieve personal goals I have for myself and for the movement I represent so I continue to work hard day in and day out to get closer to making those aspirations realities. I have a very practical and logical outlook on life as well, and I know that if I truly care about the movement I claim to care about, I’ll carry myself in a way that is more likely to inspire others to be more compassionate. It just happens that being healthy, happy and fit is more attractive and desirable than being a scrawny person. When we attach the word vegan to each type of lifestyle (fit and scrawny) they represent different things, and I choose the one that creates the most positive change and does the most good in the bigger picture.

Do you think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about vegan nutrition and if so what do you wish people were taught in school?

Like any controversial topic, I think there are a lot of misconceptions, misinformation, lack of education, lack of critical thought and lack of personal ambition to find truths within a given subject matter. I think that all applies accurately to how I view vegan nutrition. I still continue to struggle grasping the fact that people find me interesting, worthy of featuring me in their newspaper or magazine, or interview of this or that nature, simply because I eat plants and exercise. I think if we were taught at a young age to simply eat healthy plant foods, exercise regularly and engage in the activities that make us smile the most, we would be far better off in health and in life. If those simple principles were taught in schools we would have a healthier society. I care deeply about education, about children and about the future for everyone, even well beyond my existence on earth. I’ll continue to contribute ideas, time and resources for improvement in education in our schools.

I’m so excited about Austin’s first ever Texas Veg Fest, What do you think we will get to hear you talk about?

I too am very excited about Austin VegFest. I’ve been attending VegFests across North America for the past six years, sometimes visiting a dozen in a single year, but I’ve never been to one in Austin and I’m honored to be speaking this year. The audience attending my talk will walk away with some new outlooks on not only veganism and fitness, but on life in general. I have a hard time addressing general health and fitness principles without projecting my views of the all important essential actions that make all areas of life better. There are some common practices many people overlook and I shed light on them, revealing their importance, outlining how they can help us in every area of life. Namely, the roles that consistency, accountability and transparency play in our everyday lives, determining success or failure.

I often quote Mark Twain and reference Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., among others, when I talk about initiating change, living a purpose-driven life, and excelling in your chosen craft. I’ll talk a bit about my background, my fears about getting enough protein to build muscle on a vegan diet, and about the principles that seem to be best suited for building muscle, increasing energy, burning fat and loving life. It should be a lot of fun. I’ll talk about some of my training philosophies and my approach to eating which combined made a former skinny farm boy a champion vegan bodybuilder.

What is your new book going to focus on?

My new book is about living life with purpose and meaning, enjoying and maximizing the 1440 minutes we have each day. It’s about for living for 7/7 days a week, rather than 2/7 which most people tend to live for (the weekends). It’s about discovering what your passion is and making that a priority, creating what I call True Return On Investment (True ROI) of Life. It doesn’t really have anything to do with veganism or fitness but has everything to do with the fundamental principles I believe in, which do go hand in hand with living a compassionate lifestyle. My new book which I am currently editing also contains motivational quotes I’ve been writing since 1999 and chapters that analyze The Beginning, The Here and Now, and The Future, with clear examples of how our behaviors, attitudes and character traits were formed and how they impact us daily.

My aim is to create a helpful resource for people to use to gain enlightenment and understand why they believe what they believe and how they came to those conclusions in the first place.

With that in mind, a conscious approach to daily interaction with others, anticipating the impact on those we communicate and interact with, is empowering and should lead to greater happiness and less suffering. I move into my new apartment/writing studio at the end of the month and I can’t wait to get into writing/editing mode from morning until night until the project is complete. Once the book is complete, I’ll likely embark on another speaking tour, but as of now, my Austin VegFest presentation is one of the last I have scheduled for the rest of the year, until the book is complete.

Do you ever like to lie around and be totally lazy? Like on rest days?

I’m uncomfortable with the word “lazy” describing my actions and I work hard to avoid being associated with it. I do take some time to relax every now and then, but surely not as often as most people. I’m known for my 12-18 hour work days, which are deliberate and purpose-driven for meaningful reasons to create specific outcomes. Though I don’t relax as often as most, I find ways to create relaxing environments and I also truly enjoy what I do during the majority of my waking hours. One of my favorite ways to relax is to be in the sun (one of the reasons I moved to Austin) and that is where I feel at peace more than any other environment. In fact, I might be moving to the Caribbean when my lease is up in Austin, not to relax on the beach every day, but to find a new meaningful work environment with the opportunity to take that relaxing nap on the beach if desired. I know the value of rest, and a favorite activity of mine is sleeping in after a long day and tough workout, I just don’t do a lot lounging around for fun. I figure my role in life is to spend my time making other’s lives better, and in turn that will also improve my quality of life. That is why I work so hard. I’m driven to make a difference.

Thanks a lot for taking the time Robert and good luck with everything! And welcome to the sunniest place I know of!

Texas VegFest Countdown – Capital City Bakery

I thought it would be fun to spotlight some of the different things going on at Texas VegFest, because I want you all to go! I want you to LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK and tell all your friends that this shit is happening. It is going to be so awesome and well worth a trip! 

Sometimes I think I should start sentences in a way other than “I am so excited that….” but, damnit, I do get really excited about things! When Dan told me last night that he was going to make OCCUPIE with Mac Daddy and smoked collards I did a whole interpretive dance. The point is, I don’t have words for how excited I am that Kristen Davenport is opening a new, all vegan Capital City Bakery in April, excited doesn’t cut it!

Kristen delivering Pain Au Chocolate for Dan's Birthday!

I first met Kristen at a bakesale, I think, and from there I tried to weasel my way into her life in an attempt to get as many cupcake castoffs as possible. Lucky for me, she turned out to be a an awesome person too. Her baked treats get better all the time and she has been winning awards left and right so the whole of Texas should be absolutely stoked that they are going to be able to purchase her pastries on a whim soon enough. And you know what, you don’t even have to wait for her Yelp to get filled up with reviews, I can summarize right now what they are mostly going to be like:

“I’m SO not vegan, actually I like to eat [choose one] my weight in butter OR three hams covered in bacon on top of a roasted feral hog at least once a week OR *real* desserts. I went to Capital City Bakery because [choose one] my boyfriend made me OR I read good things and didn’t believe it OR I didn’t know it was vegan and I couldn’t believe how fantastic it was and I am a total expert on pastries since I [choose one] once went to Paris OR studied at Ecole du Cordon Bleu OR blog about cupcakes in Austin. I ate so much that I felt damn lucky that I rode my recumbent bike there.”

But you can beat these yelpers to the punch by going to Texas Veg Fest where Capital City Bakery is debuting their line! Kristen is going to have a booth there and she is one of the festivals organizers. And since I posted this picture you can even say hi. Then you can write your own review or like the bakery on Facebook. (She made me say that last part but you still should do it)