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Curious about plant-based diets? The Hampton Roads VegFest is coming – The Virginian-Pilot

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Something crazy happened in August. Pigs didn’t fly, but then again I didn’t look. My husband committed to trying a plant-based diet. If you know him, you would think this was a major typo. His favorite food group is a hamburger.

We are exact opposites when it comes to food. I’ve been mostly plant based for 30 years. I’ve never been a big red meat or chicken fan, so a plant-based diet is easy for me. Occasionally, I’ll have a Chick-fil a nugget or a small slice of brisket. That is it. Nothing else tempts me.

However, my husband loves anything and everything with meat. He will plan a whole day around a burger joint and was devastated when Highway 55, a local burger restaurant, closed years ago. His favorite t-shirt is an ‘In and Out’ burger shirt from California. He’s a 50-plus man that still eats like he’s a college kid.

So, when my husband decided to try a plant-based diet, I thought he was joking. I figured it would be a one-day experiment. Despite what all his guy friends thought, I have never asked him to be a vegetarian. As a wife that cares about the health of her hubby, I have requested for years to lay off the french fries and red meat. Asking him to even try a plant-based diet has never crossed my mind for a minute.

In August, friends of ours told us about a Netflix documentary called “The Game Changers.” It touted the benefits of a plant-based diet for athletic performance. After watching the show, my husband decided to try plant options for a week. He thought it would be a fun challenge. Two months later, he’s still doing it. He has fallen off the wagon twice, which I encouraged. Both involved trips and one was to his college alma mater with all his favorite eateries. For goodness sake, I can’t deprive him of Carolina barbecue or a nostalgic greasy burger.

I’m not sure how long this experiment will last or if it will become a new way of eating. I hope it continues because there’s no debating that a plant based diet is a healthier option.

If you are curious about a plant-based diet, you’re in luck. The Hampton Roads VegFest is coming to the oceanfront Nov. 5-6. Enjoy a fun festival atmosphere while being introduced to a plant-based diet. You can feast on a huge array of vegan options.

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let’s eat


We’re serving up restaurant reviews and news about the local food scene every week.

Additionally, there will be live music, performing arts, advocacy groups, speakers, workshops and cooking demonstrations. Also, you can do some shopping at eco-friendly vendors. Learn about herbal medicine, plant based fitness benefits and seasonal eating.

I keep looking up in the sky to see if pigs are flying. I don’t see any, but I know for a fact there are more pigs and cows roaming around thanks to my husband.

What: Hampton Roads VegFest

When: Nov 5-6

Where: 23-25th Streets on the Boardwalk

information: Over 70 food trucks and exhibitors will be selling and sampling vegan food and wares. Also, there will be workshops, speakers, demos, entertainment and other festival activities. Go to for more information.

Lee Belote,