As the Healthy You Network prepares for its next big event, a “Your Health, Your Planet” symposium, it is easy to see that the group, which emphasizes healthy living through a whole, plant-based diet, is getting ready for growth.
The nonprofit organization, which got its start in early 2011, is gearing up to host Arizona’s first free VegFest at the Hilton Tucson East in November, a gathering that will feature a full day of cooking demonstrations, workshops, vendors and lectures.
Next month, it will open its first brick-and-mortar location in what used to be a tile store at 3913 E. Pima Street.
Dubbed the Healthy You Network Resource Center, the 1,200-square-foot space will host cooking classes, potluck meals, meetings and discussion groups, with a small retail area set-up for Healthy You Network products.
“We are growing,” said volunteer spokeswoman Jamie S. Roach. “People know what we do and what we stand for. When we have this location, they’ll know where to come.”
Right now, all hands are on deck preparing for the “Your Health, Your Planet” event at the Fox Theatre on Sept. 21.
Five speakers from across the country have been recruited to lecture on the correlations between our food habits, health, the economy and the environment.
Among the speakers will be Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of “The 30-Day Vegan Challenge,” “Color Me Vegan” and “The Vegan Table;” Dr. Michael Greger, a physician and regular contributor to nutritionfacts.org; and Rich Roll, an endurance athlete and vegan who was voted one of the top 25 fittest guys in the world in 2009 by Men’s Fitness Magazine.
J. Morris Hicks, author of the book “Healthy Eating, Healthy World” will speak about environmental and economic benefits of eating a plant-based diet.
“For me, Jay’s book was a primer,” Roach said. “I recommend it to all my family and friends. He is very accessible. The book is very well done, well researched.”
Roach said that all of the speakers fall in line with the views of the Healthy You Network.
The organization hopes to match, if not surpass the numbers at its symposium in May, which brought more than 400 people to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tucson — Reid Park.
If all goes well, the all-day event will serve as a good start to what planners hope is a productive fall season.
“There seems to be a lot more people moving in our direction these days,” Roach said. “It is fairly obvious to us that you don’t need animal products in order to be healthy.”