• Health, Healing & Happiness rocked my vegan socks!

    Posted on June 11, 2012 by in COMMUNITY


    This past weekend was a health and wellness love fest in Las Vegas! Health, Healing & Happiness lived up to its promise to be a full mind, body and spirit awakening experience. You can just feel there was a special energy in the air among attendees, speakers and inside the market place. It was literally all of my favorite locals in one place at the same time for the same purpose.

    Just to give you a background the health and wellness movement is still developing here, especially the vegan movement. So when my friend Ina Mohan of Belsandia.com explained her vision for such an event I was really impressed. She wanted to host the first ever plant-based health and wellness event in Las Vegas. I thought ‘Wow! That sounds amazing!’ The idea was inspired by last years Vegan in Vegas but this event would be broader message and get more people exposed to plant-based living. I knew in my heart she could pull it off and it was a great idea but wasn’t sure what type of turnout  to expect in Las Vegas. Well long story short, I was blown away this weekend!

    raw vegan cooking demo with Chef Stacey Dougan

    Over 150 attendees joined together at the beautiful Springs Preserve. There was over 20 wonderful speakers, local health and wellness leaders, vendors market place, Saturday night party, yoga and lots of yummy vegan food. Local superstar speakers included James Wong, Vanessa Chamberlin, Chef Stacey, Chef Mayra, Chef Sharynne and Dr. Darian. Each speaker offered their personal take on healthy living.  I didn’t get to every speaker but what I did attend was inspiring. Also, the event raised $652 for an animal charity for an extra boost of goodness.

    Highlights for me included connecting with Swami Ramananda. In true Vegas style, radio personality ‘Danny Vegas’ introduced Swami Ramannda. It was fun to see the Vegas flavor incorporated in the event : )

    Ina had told be how amazing he was and now I know why. He is Elton John’s yoga teacher, brought yoga to the Las Vegas strip, author, native New Yorker and just all around cool person. He shared his journey about following his inner guide to India and the spiritual awakened that followed. There was great take aways from his talk like the importance of Feng Shui in your home, personal health and acting kindly toward the world. I asked him to close by sharing a mantra to help get back on your spiritual path. He was so kind and shared a manta that he learned from one of Gandi’s spiritual teachers. How cool is that?! I was totally feeling the good energy.

    Another stand out was Nick Brannigan, author of ‘I’m eating what?!‘ exposing the truths about GMO’s. He was accompanied by his cute daughter (who is on the cover of his book). It was great to see her awareness of the topic at such a young age. Nick shared what foods to look at for including the usually suspects like corn, soy and cotton seed oil but also brought to light vegan favorites like Daiya cheese has GMO ingredients. I was sitting next to one of my vegan friends and we both looked at each at the same time totally bummed to hear the news. But at least we are informed now. Also Nick broken down easy solutions to avoid GMO’s in everyday life. He recommend focusing on making one meal a week that is vegan, organic and non gmo and work up from there. He also explained that the organic label doesn’t mean non gmo. Keep your eyes open for the Non GMO Project label before purchasing. I really learned a lot from his presentation. I’ll be adding more links to all the resources he shared on our lifestyle guide next week. Also he shared about leading with love, not hate for those trying to control our food system for profit. It was a fresh take on the subject.

    Clip from GMO presentation.

    To give you an idea of the event, here are some pics from the weekend…

    Saturday night party with vegan food, drinks and live music

    vegan food mashup

    ‘french fries, chili sauce and cheese’ raw vegan style from Chef Stacey’s demo

     market place

    swag bag

    garden vibe

    reminder of how far we have come with health yet so far to go!

    Also, finally watched Vegucated. Marisa Miller Wolfson who wrote, directed, edited and stared in the film was excellent. I really liked how she explained the vegan lifestyle and how she introduced three non vegans into the lifestyle. Nicely done! If you aren’t familiar with the film, you should check it out for sure.

    ‘Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated is a award-winning documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers from different backgrounds who, for six weeks, adopt a vegan diet and a whole new way of thinking about food.’

    As you can see, it was a great time had by all. Everyone was already asking Ina when the next event was happening because they didn’t want till next year. That’s so awesome. Las Vegas is on it’s way to becoming a hub for plant-based health and wellness. Blessed to be apart of it. On a personal note, when I came back to my parent’s house after the event they were eating grilled meat, corn and white potatoes. Next year they MUST attend! Looking forward to seeing you and your family at the next event : )

    Missed the event?

    No worries, the HHH team is selling the FULL event on dvd

     Check out their website for details

    WANT MORE GOODNESS? Sign up for my…

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    MONTHLY BRANDING BOOST  (great for vegan-friendly small business owners!)

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4 Responses so far.

  1. Ina Mohan says:

    Kelly I am so happy that this event hit the mark in your eyes too! It was an experiment and a risk that I took by marrying veganism, spirituality, fitness and personal development, as most events tend to focus on only one or few of these areas. I think they all belong into one big circle of overall health and wellness, and the attendance and amazing feedback we got seems to prove this right. Thanks for reviewing your impressions and I am already planning the next one – stay tuned!


  2. Rigel Painter says:

    Great review Kelly! Ina, no words can express how much appreciation I have for all the hard work you put into making this event a reality. I have taken away (and most importantly incorporated) so much from the two amazing days at Health, Healing & Happiness!

    Las Vegas is definitely lucky and blessed to have the two of you here. Looking forward to what both of you have in store for all of us in the future! Thank you again!