Top 5 Favs at Vida Vegan Con

I had the awesome privilege to attend what was the third and final Vida Vegan Con in Austin, Texas last week. I’ve realized how much the vegan community supports education, new products, the entrepreneurial spirit and each other. They have been a big influence in my own blogging, writing, menus and life. A big applause to Jess, Janessa and Michelle who created Vida Vegan Con back in 2011!


One of my favorite photos from the 2011 Vida Vegan Con

Here are some of my favorite finds while at the Austin Vida Vegan Con May 29-31, 2015

Favorite 5 New Products:

  • Miyoko’s Kitchen cultured cheeses. These cheeses are fermented and by far out-perform any non-fermented cheese. My favorite flavor is the Smoked Chive Farmhouse, with Winter Truffle in a close second place. All 10+ flavors can be ordered online or found in many Whole Foods Markets. IMG_0164
  • Jack Tamales by Mean Vegan Products. OK, so my first clue was that I kept circling back to try a sample repeatedly. I never realized how much I missed tamales, until I tasted these scrumptious vegan tamales made with jackfruit. I even bought a package to bring back to our Airbnb. They are Kansas City based and expanding their market. Yum!IMG_0444
  • Vida Green makes a variety of eco-green bath and beauty products that smell good, feel great on your skin and are kind to the earth. She offers a natural foaming hand soap and has great prices. Most products are organic and fair trade. IMG_0247
  • Vegan Cuts is a company I have heard of, but it was the charming, very real personality of Jill Pyle, Co-founder, that made me love the good work they are doing. They find vegan products and create monthly boxes you can buy as a subscription or ala carte. They offer a snack box and a beauty box as well as products for purchase via their online store. Vegan Cuts Image
  • Punk Rawk Labs makes some killer raw nut based cheeses. OK, so they were my favorite before this event, but they continue to hold their place as just that! My favorite flavor is the Cashew Smoked, but I also got to taste their new Nacho flavor and loved it too!


    Alissa who started Punk Rawk Labs nut-based cheeses

  • OK, so I am cheating now and putting a sixth product on the list and that is Nada Moo! OMG, all I can say is try their Vanilla Cha-Cha-Chai or their Java Crunch non-dairy ice cream and you will soon be stocking them in your own freezer! IMG_0446 IMG_0185

Favorite 5 New To Me Blogs:

  • The Raw Project written by Christine Allen, a thirty-something IT Tech in Sacramento, California who eats a high raw vegan diet. Her site is fun and offers a day to day look at real life while sharing recipes.
  • Brown Vegan is the brainchild of Monique Koch. She is a fun, lively person with a passion for families and educating them about how best to adapt to the vegan diet. She has podcasts worth checking out on topics like meal planning, tips for eating out as a vegan and how to make the switch to being vegan!


    Monique from Brown Vegan in the center

  • The Food Farmacy is a fun website with recipes, tips and lots of education and resources. Check out her Millet Flax Buttermilk Vegan Pancakes YouTube video!
  • PlantCrush is a beautiful for the eyes and palate blog created by Ann Mai. I got to know her when a mutual friend invited her to stay over with us for an extra couple of days at the conference. She puts time into her photos and makes the food so appealing you want to drool.
  • Keepin” It Kind is the fun blogging duo of Kristy and Chris. He does the photos and she does the food. They’ve got a book, recipes and lots of articles you will see in all kinds of publications!

Favorite 5 Social Media Pages:

A HUGE thank you to Janessa, Jess and Michelle for all your ingenuity, creativity, kick ass organizational skills and creating the community now known as the Vida Family! I am so blessed that I found you when I was Googling to find a vegan restaurant. “Vegan” and “Portland” brought you into my view and I am forever grateful!


Jess, Michelle and Janessa at closing ceremony on May 31st

Here is a video collage of candids from Vida Vegan Con 2011-2015:


  1. Kim Flournoy says:

    Why is it the last one?


    • The three amazing gals who’ve created the conference are ready for new phases in their lives. It’s been a lot of work and almost voluntary. So glad I got to be involved. Time will tell what someone else might step up to create.


  2. What a fun photo montage! Thanks for putting it together!


  3. Monique says:

    Hey Kathy!
    It was so awesome meeting you! I hope that we connect in person again very soon.
    Hopefully someone else will start up another vegan conference. *fingers crossed* 🙂


  4. jonimarie says:

    How awesome! Great recap, and that montage is so fun to watch. I love seeing all the different hairstyles we had over the last 5 years. Lol.


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