2018 Program Agenda

Sedona VegFest

January 20 and 21, 2018

Saturday, January 20

  8:00 a.m. Registration and Exhibits Open
9:00-9:15 Welcome and Introductions              – Don Fries and Bev Bow, Healthy World Sedona
  9:15-10:30 Caldwell Esselstyn, MD – Topic: The Nutritional Reversal of Coronary Artery Disease: Fact or Fiction?”              
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:00 Jane Esselstyn, RNTopic: “The Benefits of a Plant-based Diet Above and Below the Belt”                                  
LUNCH NOTE:     Lunch will be available in the cafeteria today from 11:30 – 1:30 with cooking demos and “ask the chef” as shown directly below.  See a complete description of lunch options after the speaker descriptions.
12:15-1:00 p.m. Chris Kalinich: Cooking Demo – cafeteria
  1:00-1:30 Jason Wyrick: “Ask the Chef” – cafeteria
1:30-2:45 Jane Velez–Mitchell – Topic: “Giving Voice to the Voiceless”     
  2:45-3:00 Break
  3:00-4:15 Sid Garza-Hillman, CN Topic: “Making the Trade: Perceptions of restriction in the Vegan Lifestyle”       
  5:00 Exhibits Close

Sunday, January 21

  8:00 a.m. Registration and Exhibits Open
  9:00–10:15 Michael Klaper, MD  – Topic: “A Diet for All Reasons – Healthy People, Healthy Planet”
10:15–10:30 Break
10:30-11:45 Keegan Kuhn Topic: Environmental and Ethical Responsibility”      
LUNCH NOTE:     Lunch will be available in the cafeteria today from 11:30 – 1:30 with cooking demos and “ask the chef” as shown directly below.  See a complete description of lunch options after the speaker descriptions.
12:00-12:45  JL Fields:  Cooking Demo – cafeteria
12:45 – 1:15 Jason Wyrick: “Ask the Chef” – cafeteria
1:15–2:30 Brenda Davis, RD – Topic: “Designing An Optimal Plant-based Diet”
  2:30–2:45 Break
  2:45–4:00 Colleen Patrick-Goudreau – Topic: “Debunking the Myths and Celebrating the Benefits of Vegan Living”  – Intro: Ray and Peggy
  4:00-4:15 Final Remarks/Close                                                
  5:00 p.m. Exhibits Close

VegFest 2018 Speakers!

Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. During that time, he has served as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

His scientific publications number over 150. In 1995 he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type. In July of 2014 he reported the experience of 198 participants seriously ill with cardiovascular disease. During 37 years of follow up of the 89% adherent to the program, 99.4% avoided further major cardiac events.

Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet since 1984. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is changing the way we talk about, think about, and treat other animals.

A recognized expert and thought leader on the culinary, social, ethical, and practical aspects of living vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author of seven books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan’s Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She is an acclaimed speaker and beloved host of the inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought,” which has been voted Favorite Podcast by VegNews magazine readers several years in a row, and her new podcast, “Animalogy,” is changing the way we talk about animals.

Colleen shares her message of compassion and wellness on national and regional TV and radio programs, including on a monthly vegan segment on Good Day Sacramento and as a monthly contributor to National Public Radio. She has appeared on the Food Network, CBS, PBS, and FOX; interviews with her have been featured on NPR, Huffington Post, U.S. News and World Report; and her recipes have been featured on Epicurious.com and Oprah.com.


Michael Klaper, M.D.

Michael A. Klaper, M.D. is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and has practiced acute care medicine in Hawaii, Canada, California, Florida and New Zealand.

Far more fulfilling to him was his practice for the past nine years, at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, focusing on health-promoting food and lifestyle choices to help people stay out of hospitals and off of operating tables. He has authored numerous articles on plant-based nutrition and is authoring a book on using plant-based medicine to arrest and reverse disease.

A long-time radio host and a pilot, Dr. Klaper has served as nutrition advisor to NASA’s programs for space colonists on the Moon and Mars and on the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Students Association.  To improve the health of his patients as well as his own, and to minimize suffering of sentient beings, Dr. Klaper adopted a plant-based diet in 1981.  In January 2018, he will leave 46 years of primary care practice and devote full-time efforts to creating courses for doctors on incorporating plant-based nutrition into their own practices, to writing a book on plant-based healing, lecturing in medical schools, teaching medical students, and producing webinars for the public on raising healthy children, optimizing athletic performance, and aging healthfully, among many other subjects.

He makes the latest information on health and nutrition available through his website, DoctorKlaper.com, where visitors can find the numerous videos and DVDs he has produced, as well subscribe to his free newsletter, “Medicine Capsule.”

Jane Esselstyn, R.N.

Jane Esselstyn R.N. is a fresh and charismatic voice on the whole food, plant-based diet. She brings her perspective and passion as a woman, nurse, researcher, and mother to creating on-ramps to the plant-based way of life. Jane is an avid and inventive designer of plant-based recipes and the co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her next door neighbor and mom, Ann. And she created the recipe section of #1 NYTimes bestseller, Plant-Strong, by her brother, Rip Esselstyn, as well as the recipes for The Seven Day Rescue, by Rip Esselstyn with recipes by Jane Esselstyn, available December 27th, 2016.

Jane has worked as a science, outdoor, and health educator for over 28 years, and more recently a researcher. The Journal of Pediatrics recently published the study she worked on with the Cleveland Clinic observing the effect of a plant-based diet on pediatric obesity and hypercholesterolemia.

When not working on recipes or research, Jane teaches Sexuality Education to middle schoolers. Many of the basic healthy messages around being a sexual being for middle school kids make their way into Jane’s adult presentations in hilarious and educational ways.

Jane met her husband and fellow plant-based  educator, Brian Hart, while working as a field instructor for Outward Bound. They have three plant-based children. Jane earned a B.S. in Nursing from Kent State University.

Jane Velez-Mitchell

Jane Velez-Mitchell is the founder and content editor of JaneUnChained, a multi-platform social media news outlet that produces original video content on animals rights and the vegan/compassionate lifestyle. She has won four Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States for her reporting on animal issues. VegNews named Velez-Mitchell Media Maven of the Year in 2010. In 2013 Mercy for Animals awarded her their Compassionate Leadership Award. In 2014, she was honored for fighting animal abuse by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. In 2015, she received the Nanci Alexander Award at PETA’s 35th anniversary.

For six years she hosted her own show on CNN Headline News, where she ran a weekly segment on animal issues. Previously, Velez-Mitchell reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show Celebrity Justice, where she did numerous stories on animal issues championed by celebrities.

Previously, Velez-Mitchell was a news anchor/reporter at KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and WCBS-TV in New York. She is the winner of a Los Angeles Emmy and a New York Emmy for her reporting. Velez-Mitchell is a graduate of New York University and began her career with reporting stints in Ft Myers, Florida, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia.

Velez-Mitchell is the author of four books. Her 2014 non- fiction New York Times bestseller, Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias offers a detailed psychological analysis of a salacious trial that gripped the American public. Her other New York Times bestseller is her memoir, iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life. Secrets Can Be Murder delves into the secrecy and deceit embedded in tragic scenarios. Addict Nation: An Intervention for America with co-author Sandra Mohr focuses on our culture’s addictive nature and our obsession with overconsumption.

Velez-Mitchell directed and produced the documentary Anita Velez: Dancing Through Life, which won a Gracie award in 2001. She lives with her partner, Donna Dennison, and their 4 companion animals in Los Angeles.

Brenda Davis, R.D.

Brenda Davis, registered dietitian, is a leader in her field and an internationally acclaimed speaker. She has worked as a public health nutritionist, clinical nutrition specialist, nutrition consultant and academic nutrition instructor. Brenda is the lead dietitian in a diabetes research project in Majuro, Marshall Islands. She is a featured speaker at nutrition, medical and health conferences throughout the world.

Brenda is co-author of nine award-winning, best-selling books – Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition (2014), Becoming Vegan: Express Edition (2013), Becoming Vegan (2000), The New Becoming Vegetarian (2003), Becoming Vegetarian (1994, 1995), Becoming Raw (2010), the Raw Food Revolution Diet (2008), Defeating Diabetes (2003) and Dairy-free and Delicious (2001).  She is also a contributing author to a tenth book, The Complete Vegetarian (2009). Her books are vegetarian/vegan nutrition classics, with over 750,000 copies in print in 8 languages. Brenda has authored and co-authored several articles for peer-reviewed medical and nutrition journals and magazines.

Brenda is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. In 2007, she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. Brenda lives in Kelowna British Columbia with her husband, Paul Davis.  She has two grown children, Leena Markatchev and Cory Davis.

Website: brendadavisrd.com

Sid Garza-Hillman

Sid Garza-Hillman, podcaster and YouTuber, is the author of Approaching the Natural: A Health Manifesto and Raising Healthy Parents: Small Steps, Less Stress, and a Thriving Family.  He graduated from UCLA with a BA in Philosophy, and is a public speaker, certified nutritionist, and Small Steps Coach–teaching people around the world his unique Small Steps approach to healthy living at www.smallsteppers.com. He is the Wellness Programs Director at the Stanford Inn Eco-Resort, an ultra runner,  Race Director of the Mendocino Coast 50K trail ultramarathon, and is co-creator with Matt Frazier of the No Meat Athlete Meal Plan, Health Made Simple.

Sid lives on California’s Mendocino Coast with his wife and three children, a horse, dog, and two cats.

Websites: www.sidgarzahillman.com & www.smallsteppers.com

Approaching the Natural Podcast: iTunes, Stitcher, etc.

YouTube Channel: Sid Garza-Hillman

Social Media: @sidgarzahillman

Keegan Kuhn

Keegan Kuhn is the award-winning co-director of the highly acclaimed documentary film Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, executive produced for Netflix by Leonardo DiCaprio, and recent documentary What The Health. Kuhn is the owner and operator of First Spark Media, a digital film production company tailored to creating films for social justice.

Kuhn’s skills as a director, producer, cinematographer, editor, animator and composer have been utilized in film subjects as diverse as modern Alaskan homesteading, gender inequality, animal rescues, Buddhism, endurance sports and environmental destruction. He is motivated by a deep desire to shed light on untold stories of the most downtrodden in our society, and to raise awareness through greater visibility of social justice issues.

Kuhn is the owner of the camera accessory company First Spark Gear and creator of the educational music project True Nature. He lives with his partner Shani in the East Bay of San Francisco, California.

VegFest Lunch will be a partnership between Sedona Oak Creek School District and the Humane Society of the US

We are so excited that lunch at VegFest this year will not only provide a whole food, plant-based meal to attendees, but will also introduce healthy, plant-based menu items into the ongoing choices for Sedona Oak Creek School District (SOCSD) students.

The Humane Society’s Forward Food initiative collaborates with food service professionals, chefs, dietitians, doctors, public health leaders, environmental organizations, and millions of individuals to help grow a healthier,more sustainable food system through an emphasis on plant-based foods. They have a special program for K-12 schools, providing recipes that are compliant with the USDA regulations and other requirements for nutritional meals for kids.  Becky Parks, SOCSD Food Services Director, is committed to any actions she can take to benefit the nutrition of students. Her staff will cater our VegFest lunch, providing three items that will be added in the future to the menu choices for SOSCD students. The school district staff will receive further training from Forward Food in plant-based meal preparation in March of 2018.

Be sure to plan on lunch at VegFest to support this effort to grow healthier kids – and enjoy a great meal at the same time! You can choose between the following entrées.  A green salad and organic apple are included.  Click here for ingredient list.

  • Super Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
  • Fiesta Rice & Beans Bowl
  • Pumped Up Pasta Bake 

Lunch tickets will be for sale for $12.50 in the Performing Arts Center lobby both days of VegFest.

Healthy World Sedona is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and presents these and many other events throughout the year as a public service.

Your regular tax-deductable contributions and sponsorships are much appreciated (see the “Donations” link at the top of this page).


Healthy World Sedona: Compassionate Plant-Based Living

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