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Erectile Dysfunction – diet matters!

ED - disappointed coupleErectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. Erectile dysfunction (ED) has considerable impact on the quality of life of middle-aged and senior men, and is a significant global health problem  affecting millions of men throughout the world.

It’s very important to note that men with ED are at significantly increased risk of a heart attack. There is consistent epidemiological evidence which links ED with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cholesterol levels. We know that a plant-based diet greatly reduces the risk of those diseases and so it follows that it also greatly reduces the risk of ED. Other evidence shows that the lower BMI (Body Mass Index) that vegetarians are more likely to have also helps reduce the risk of ED, as does the reduction of saturated fat intake and increased fiber intake.

One study found a 10% reduced risk of ED with each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables consumed. Another study showed that phytonutrients, nutrients besides vitamins and minerals which are found only in plant foods, were a major reason for the reduced risk. A long term study of a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and olive oil was associated with an improvement in erectile function.

They’ve even done a small experiment on erectile function.  Three athletes were tested overnight after different meals.  The experiment showed that erectile function was improved after a plant-based meal. Smoking cessation and exercise increased the effectiveness of the dietary intervention in several studies.

While diet and diet-related diseases are major causes of ED, there are other factors such as psychological problems and medication side effects which can also have an impact. However, switching to a plant-based diet is a safe way to reduce your risk of ED and it forms a vital role in its treatment.

Schedule

Guest Speaker and Chef Schedule

You can plan on there always being a great chef or a doctor presenting, throughout the event. They each present for around 35 mins, so you’ll have the opportunity to see several while you’re at Vegfest!

The schedule for 2019 was as follows:

Saturday March 30th 2019

10:40am Dr Chan Hwang How to Help Chronic Pain with a Plant-Based Diet
11:25am Chef Archana Verma Indian Comfort Food
12:10pm Dr Esther Park Hwang The Best Diet for Women’s Health
12:55pm Chef Alan Roettinger Speed Vegan
1:40pm Dr Patricia McEachrane Gross Plant-Based Foods for Your Health
2:25pm Chef Ramses Bravo Bravo Express! – Comfort Food
3:10pm Dr Rachael Wyman Eat Right for your Heart
3:55pm Chef Michelle Schwegmann Eat Like You Give a Damn!
4:40pm Dr Uma Malhotra The Vegetarian Diet: Powerful Medicine

Sunday March 31st 2019

10:40am Mary Purdy RD Easy, Simple, Nutritious: A Practical Guide to Going Veg
11:25am Chef Michelle Schwegmann Eat Like You Give a Damn!
12:10pm Dr Chan Hwang How to Help Chronic Pain with a Plant-Based Diet
12:55pm Chef Ramses Bravo Bravo Express! – Sweet Treats
1:40pm Dr Ann Pittier Avoiding Cancer with a Plant-Based Diet
2:25pm Chef Alan Roettinger Extraordinary Vegan
3:10pm Dr Patricia McEachrane Gross Plant-Based Foods for Your Health
3:55pm Chef James Sant Vibrant Vegan Comfort Foods

Clowns Schedule

Clown scene - RClowns Zero and Somebuddy were to the left of the Speaker area:

  • 10am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday.

They featured:

  • Puppet Shows
  • Face Painting
  • Balloon animals

 

Vegfest Home

Serving Genesis Juice

Vegfest – A Healthy Vegetarian Food Festival

Returning on May 13-14, 2023!

Vegfest is coming back May 13 & 14, 2023. It will be held at a new and larger venue, the Washington State Fair Events Center Pavilion. Please stay tuned and check back here for updates and additional information!

Sponsors and Participants

Participants are already signing up for 2023, to reserve a space. If you’re interested in participating in the 2023 event, please contact us using the Participant form. See our participant page for a list of participants at the last Vegfest.

Two people eating ice creamAttendees

Admission: Details to follow

Please bring your own reusable bags to carry give-aways and purchases.  See our environmental policy.

At our annual healthy vegetarian food festival you can:

Sampling food at VegfestMany people recognize the health and other benefits of vegetarian food choices, but they are not sure what to eat, what to buy and how to cook it. This festival provides all the support that people need, and it’s fun too. With free health screenings, books and lots of food, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a special kids section where kids can learn about healthy food while having fun, with clowns and more.

Medical Seminar for Physicians and Medical Students

At Vegfest each year, we offer an evening medical seminar to physicians and medical students, focused on the prevention and treatment of disease with a plant-based diet. This 2-hour seminar features regional physicians talking about the latest research and their clinical experience in a selection of specialties. Our book for physicians, The Prevention and Treatment of Disease with a Plant-Based Diet, will be available for sale.  Check back nearer the date for details of this year’s seminar.

Volunteers

It takes over 1,000 volunteers to staff the festival. Check out our volunteer page to learn more about volunteering at Vegfest.

 

Vegfest

Serving Genesis Juice

Vegfest – A Healthy Vegetarian Food Festival

Returning on May 13-14, 2023!

Vegfest is coming back May 13 & 14, 2023. It will be held at a new and larger venue, the Washington State Fair Events Center Pavilion. Please stay tuned and check back here for updates and additional information!

Sponsors and Participants

Participants are already signing up for 2023, to reserve a space. If you’re interested in participating in the 2023 event, please contact us using the Participant form. See our participant page for a list of participants at the last Vegfest.

AttendeesTwo people eating ice cream

Admission: Details to follow.

Please bring your own reusable bags to collect give-aways and purchases.  See our environmental policy.

At our annual healthy vegetarian food festival you can:

Sampling food at VegfestMany people recognize the health and other benefits of vegetarian food choices, but they are not sure what to eat, what to buy and how to cook it. This festival provides all the support that people need, and it’s fun too. With free health screenings, books and lots of food, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a special kids section where kids can learn about healthy food while having fun, with clowns and more.

Medical Seminar for Physicians and Medical Students

At Vegfest each year, we offer an evening medical seminar to physicians and medical students, focused on the prevention and treatment of disease with a plant-based diet. This 2-hour seminar features regional physicians talking about the latest research and their clinical experience in a selection of specialties. Our book for physicians, The Prevention and Treatment of Disease with a Plant-Based Diet, will be available for sale.  Check back nearer the date for details of this year’s seminar.

Volunteers

It takes over 1,000 volunteers to staff the festival. Check out our volunteer page to learn more about volunteering at Vegfest.

About Us

June 2017 dinner

About Vegetarians of Washington

Ayako with plate - croppedVegetarians of Washington is an independent 501(c)3 non profit organization, formed and incorporated in the state of Washington in June 2001. We are an active and dynamic group with events happening in and around the Puget Sound, and in many other parts of the state from time to time. We are the largest vegetarian organization in the Northwest and one of the largest in the country. Run by full-time, experienced professionals, we also have a large team of advisers from major, relevant sections of the community, including medical, religious and business leaders.

Our mission is to help improve the health and well-being of people and the world we live in, both by encouraging mainstream Americans to discover the advantages and pleasures of vegetarian food, and by providing support and service to the vegetarian community.

We aim to improve circumstances in the mainstream of American society. We care when people die needlessly from heart disease and other diseases of excess in the developed world, and from starvation in the developing world. We care when the environment is damaged and animals suffer. We have faith that a better world is possible, and that educating people about the vegetarian solution is one way to make a real difference.

To achieve this, we established the following goals:

  • To help the average person, who follows a standard American diet, recognize that a vegetarian diet is a much healthier option, that it’s tasty, affordable, popular and easy to do.
  • To help the environmentally conscious make the connection between the food they choose to eat and the environment they inhabit.
  • To help those who feel compassion toward animals understand the harsh conditions that animals endure due to current farming methods, and that a vegetarian diet can eliminate some of this suffering.
  • To help the spiritually minded see that a vegetarian diet can be spiritually enhancing.
  • To help the new or experienced vegetarian or vegan feel comfortable with their food choices, to help them gain social acceptance and know where to turn for help when needed.

We take an open arms approach, welcoming everyone, whether they’re an experienced vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. We aim to make people from all walks of life and all ages feel welcome at our events. We encourage people to try foods that are new to them, and to learn how to prepare them. However, we recognize that people need to proceed at their own pace and just do the best they can. We believe that more success will result in the long run if people feel comfortable trying to eat one vegetarian meal a week, rather than if they feel pressured into going completely vegan right away.

So how do we do all this? We accomplish our mission and goals by:

  • Holding quality monthly dinners where all are welcome
  • Producing a regular e-newsletter to inform and entertain
  • Offering informative classes, to teach nutrition and cooking skills
  • Organizing a huge vegetarian food festival, Vegfest, which encourages the general public to learn more and give vegetarian foods a try
  • Writing books that explain the advantages of a vegetarian diet, and show how easy it is to do
  • Writing articles to be published in peer-reviewed medical journals, on the prevention and treatment of disease with a plant-based diet
  • Participating in other community events, to reach out to new segments of the population
  • Engaging both vegetarian and non-vegetarian businesses by bringing them into contact with the vegetarian community.
  • Being an authoritative resource for the medical community, the media and the community at large

TG Buffet PhotoWe see ourselves as advocates, educators and supporters, rather than activists. We’re here to help people. We don’t do protests, civil disobedience or political lobbying. We focus on helping mainstream people because we want to open their eyes to new ways of looking at vegetarians and vegetarian food. We encourage and support businesses of all sizes, whether vegetarian or not, to offer more vegetarian and vegan options, because we want tasty vegetarian choices to be available at every restaurant, store, dinner or potluck. We believe that working with the non-vegetarian portion of the community is the only way the vegetarian movement can grow.

The focus of our members is wide ranging, varying from those who care mostly about their health or spiritual well-being, to those whose emphasis is on saving the animals and/or the environment.

If you are new to vegetarianism, and you were worried that you wouldn’t fit in, don’t worry. We think you will feel very welcome and supported if you join us.

If you’re an experienced vegetarian, we hope that you will join us to support the growth of the vegetarian community.

Whatever your current diet, we invite you to join us to make a difference.

Real Men Eat Plants – Lots of Them!

Man eating salad 2A vegetarian diet offers a big health advantage for men. Not only does it help prevent, and even reverse, common diseases that both men and women get, such as heart disease and diabetes, it also offers specific advantages for men’s health.

Some men wonder if a vegetarian diet will affect their testosterone levels. Worry no more! The good news is that plant foods make for great testosterone levels.  For instance in a study of British men, vegetarians were found to have slightly higher levels of testosterone than meat eaters, and those who were vegans had slightly higher levels than vegetarians.

Other men think that they need meat to build muscle, but in fact the plant kingdom has plenty of high quality protein sources, especially from all the many kinds of beans, whole grains, nuts and vegetables.  Vegetarian athletes can bulk up all they want on plant foods, and not worry about their protein or testosterone levels. Vegetarian athletes have found that their diet helps both their strength and their endurance. The increasing number of famous vegetarian athletes, in virtually every kind of sport, is impressive, real-world evidence of this.

Read more

Interview with a Cardiologist

Dr. Arun Kalyanasundaram (Dr. K) is an interventional cardiologist with practices at Highline Medical Center and Swedish Medical Center.  He moved to Seattle in 2011. He strongly believes in a holistic approach to cardiology – with a particular emphasis on preventive cardiology primarily through diet and lifestyle. He will be speaking and answering questions at our next Monthly Dining Event on October 17th.  We asked him to tell us more about himself and his approach to cardiology.

Tell us something about yourself. Where are you from originally, how long have you been a doctor, and cardiologist, and what brings you to the Northwest?

I have been a doctor now for about 13 years. I am originally from India. I obtained my MPH at the University of Maryland, and then did my residency and fellowship at Geisinger and Cleveland clinics respectively. I chose to move to the Pacific Northwest because it is unique in terms of scenic beauty, cultural diversity and just an overall great place to raise a family.  
 
How long have you been a vegetarian? What got you interested in it to begin with?

In India, a significant portion of people are vegetarians. I have been a vegetarian life-long. Over the last 3-4 years, I embraced an all plant-based diet primarily for health reasons.
 
Have you discovered any other reasons and advantages for being veg along the way?

Absolutely!  Being a vegetarian offers clear health advantages – reducing the chance of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, to name a few. The effects on the human body are almost all positive – truly astounding. There are few things in life that are good for our health, good for the planet and all its beings, with virtually no side effects. 

Do you recommend that your cardiology patients follow a particular diet?

I am convinced that patients with heart disease, especially coronary artery disease, should be on a stringent plant-based diet. I am greatly inspired by the work done by Drs Esselstyn, Ornish, and Barnard to name a few. I have studied their work extensively and my ‘template’ for the diet is based off Dr. Esselstyn’s seminal work.

What reaction do your patients typically have to the suggestion of changing their diet?

Most patients are quite receptive to the idea. Often times, a heart attack serves as a ‘wake-up call’. Several patients of mine have completely transformed their lives. I often use the analogy of a house on fire – opening a clogged vessel in the setting of a heart attack is akin to what the fire brigade does i.e. put out the fire. But then I insist that the onus is on the patient to ensure that the fuel supply feeding the fire is turned off i.e. they make the appropriate lifestyle change.

What advantages to their heart health have you typically observed when a patient switches to a veg diet?
 
I have some patients who have had decreased angina and improved exercise tolerance. I have also seen significantly improved risk factor profiles i.e. lowered blood pressure, lower cholesterol, better control of diabetes, weight loss and a general sense of well-being.

What other health benefits have your patients experienced as a result of changing their diets?

There have been published studies that have shown that a vegetarian diet can prevent and reverse diabetes, reduce the risk of vascular disease and even some kinds of cancers. Personally, I have had patients with improved glycemic control and some that have been able to get away from their diabetic medications. 
 
What is it about a veg diet that you wish the public/patients would understand better?
 
 1) Vegetarian food does not have to be boring or tasteless. 2) It is perfectly possible to have a balanced and nutritious all-plant based diet for any population – specifically it is possible to get enough protein on a plant-based diet.

Are you optimistic for the increasing popularity of veg diets in both the medical and lay community in the future?

Totally. If you look at the vegetarian movement, it has certainly become mainstream – both in terms of the number of people that are vegetarians and the availability of vegetarian food readily. Obesity, rising healthcare costs, and increasing human population make a plant-based diet the way of the future.

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