Highlights of the 2016 NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest
It's always fun to see the various shirts people wear too!
Wonderful vendors were selling other T-shirts, make-up, health-promoting gadgets, books, food items, nutritional supplements and other interesting stuff -- all cruetly-free of course!
Many nights, after the evening lectures ended, the party and dancing started.
One of the things I have always loved about Summerfest -- is how comfortably people mix together there and feel welcomed and included no matter what their age. After Dancing we'd end up in smaller groups back in our dorm rooms -- it was just so hard to pull yourself away and go to sleep!
Now that I am thinking about the young people there -- I must share this with you -- I just LOVED it!
While all the lectures are going on, children also have the option of hanging out at the Summerfest Children's Center -- where they do crafts, swim, play games, learn songs and have a more "camp-like" experience. Then, on Saturday night the children all got up on stage and sang a song for everyone. Ok -- I was late to this because I had just finished giving a presentation in a building that was far away -- so I only saw the last bit -- which was my favorite part it's about five minutes into the video....
Video of Children Singing
Once or twice a day we had big events called, "Plenaries" In the large performing arts center at the UPJ Campus. I especially loved these sessions because I didn't have to pick between multiple lectures happening at the same time (and miss something!) The Plenaries included lectures, and entertainment --Here the crowd is so thrilled with music from some long time Summerfest attendees (many of whom are quite talented) -- click on these links to see videos of some of the musical numbers we enjoyed:
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Coyote (original song)
I gave four talks this year: (1) You CAN Take it With You -- Eating for Optimal Health on the Road, (2) Twenty Evidence-Backed Ideas for Parents to Consider to Facilitate Optimal Health in their Children, (3) What Vegans Need to Know About Gluten, and (4) Healthy Aging, and What We Can Learn From Science and Healthy Older Vegans. Here is a photo a friend snapped of me just after I was dancing at the Sat night party.
One of the Summerfest benefits I am grateful for is that my family gets exposed to important published scientific findings -- including one's that get very little coverage in the mainstream media (When it comes to health, media coverage is often skewed towards covering biased studies funded by large moneyed interests who'd rather make their advertisers happy by telling people good news about their bad habits.) This was a slide up on the big screen during one presentation.
Perhaps you've already heard of this Summerfest speaker He's been making a splash sharing some extraordinary scientific findings about fish on NPR, the National Geographic channel, Scientific American, and the NY Times: Fishes have feelings too. He's ethologist, Jonathan Balcombe and he fascinated the Summerfest attendees with his stories demonstrating the complex intelligence of fish.
Cardiologist Baxter Montgomery was back presenting on "The Healthcare Center of the Future" He's the founder of Montgomery Heart and wellness. Other Doctors who presented this year included, Michael Klaper, (True North Health) Michael Greger, (NutritionFacts.org) Stephen Esser, Ron Weiss (Founder Ethos Health and Primary Care) and Milton Mills (PCRM).
(Ted is pictured here with his nephew Lee J)
Hey -- a photo that has all four members of MY ACTUAL family in it -- plus a few more of our additional chosen family....Can you SEE how much everyone is beaming? And this was on the very last day as we were getting ready to leave -- everyone is terribly sleep deprived here -- AND some of us ate way too much dessert -- but you wouldn't know it because the love and positive vibes and afterglow of this event are THAT powerful! In the white shirt is Farmer Harold Brown, who not only sings beautifully (I just discovered this) but really is a hero to so many of us (and the subject of the tribe of Heart Documentary, Peaceable Kingdom.) The cutie in the green tank top is Allison Rivers Sampson -- who taught Nia classes, and then touched our hearts with her closing words at the final plenary on Sunday.
In spite of how long this post is -- I have barely even touched on the content of this year's summerfest -- there was so much more! My apologies to those whose pictures and or names are not up here -- it was a huge effort to just cover the little bit that I did, and I didn't do a very good job of taking pictures this year (in fact many I have posted are what others shared with me.) So be sure to Take a look at the actual program to see a complete listing of all the speakers and the sessions, activities, fitness classes, cooking demos and entertainment:
(We are now in the "time between Summerfests")