For weeks now, Liza has been talking about going to WorldFest here in L.A. I had never heard of WorldFest before but it sounded like it would be a bunch of weirdos talking about loving the environment and taking two minute showers to conserve water. Boy, was I wrong! The entire experience turned out to be an amazing way to get people outside to enjoy the beautiful day, good food, interesting workshops, fun music, etc.
From the moment we began walking from the parking lot to Woodley Park, there was an undeniable feeling of relaxed happiness and a sense of community; and entering through the gates only increased the sensation. As a novice to this world, I didn't know what to expect, but here were hundreds (maybe thousands) of people who looked just like me. If I had run into many of these people on the street in front of an ubiquitous fast food chain, I would never have guessed that we had similar eating habits. Although I don't feel like I need validation for my choices, it was comforting to feel instantly accepted by everyone.
It also didn't hurt that we were immediately welcomed by countless stands of delicious vegan food. The variety was truly astounding with types of foods spanning Asian, Jamaican, Indian, BBQ, salads, sandwiches, burgers, desserts, and countless others. All original and all healthy. Some personal favorites were:
Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons
moist, full of taste, tremendously decadent, and totally healthy - amazing!
*for 10% off their products, use the promo code: OMEGAS
Luscious Organic Desserts Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites
a mini-Whatchamacallit candy bar - peanut butter and choco excellence!
Stricly Vegan Jamaican Cuisine Reggae Wrap
veggies, faux meat, and mango - a fresh and delicious combination!
And, although we didn't eat at their stand in the afternoon, it would be remiss of me not to give special mention to Sun Cafe (go to www.suncafe.com for full menu and ingredients). We visited the restaurant for a date night dinner last night and it was incredible! Completely vegan (and mostly raw) and though I'll try, it was totally beyond description. Our meal included:
Cream of Mushroom Soup (raw) - the best I've ever had!; made with a cashew cream
Raw Pesto Pizza - amazing blends of veggies and a perfect pesto sauce; so flavorful
Flax Crackers and Hummus (raw) - excellent crackers and a truly tasty hummus
Crimini Mushroom Quinoa Risotto - rich, vibrant, creamy; absolutely perfect
Cacao Superfood Shake - you would swear it was a chocolate ice cream shake; outstanding!
Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake (raw) - decadent, sinful and delicious; the perfect end to the meal
Aside from the amazing food and clothing items, the festival was littered with fascinating booths about healthy, conscious living. Unfortunately, I can't mention them all but they ranged from raw food demonstrations, to information about stopping animal cruelty in circuses, to acupuncture, to political discussions, to exercising/bodybuilding on a vegan diet. Everywhere you looked, there was a wealth of information. I encourage everyone to go to https://worldfestevents.com/exhibitors.php and click on the links of the exhibitors. It makes for good, informative reading!
One of the most touching parts of the afternoon was visiting the animal areas. There were a handful of dogs in the animal adoption section that were brought to the festival in hopes they would find a home. Some had special needs, some were treated badly, some just needed a home. But it's nice to know that, until that time, it looked like they were well taken care of. Liza and I particularly hope that Lola, the Pit Bull mix we fell in love with, finds a good home soon. In another part of the animal area, people were invited to hug two baby cows, courtesy of The Gentle Barn, a wonderful facility that rescues, rehabilitates, and gives sanctuary to farm animals. On top of that, they bring at-risk, inner-city, and/or special needs children to the facility to bond with and help take care of the animals. Their goal is to build confidence, self-esteem, and motor skills, and create special bonds between the children and the animals who need their love. It truly sounds like a fantastic place, and they're open to the public on Sundays from 10:00am to 2:00pm. If you are in the southern California area, you should think about going - we hope to visit soon! Visit their website for more info at www.gentlebarn.org .
All in all, it was a day filled with food, fun, friends, and facts. Please visit the websites listed above, do your research, start commenting so we can start talking, and look for a WorldFest near you! Happy, healthy living!