Take Back Your Health: A Giveaway
July 6, 2011


Hello friends!

I can’t believe that by tomorrow night, I’ll be in NYC. As I try not to burst with excitement, I’m here to offer one lucky CR reader a chance to attend a health and wellness conference here in Washington D.C. on October 22nd and 23rd. It’s called The Take Back Your Health Conference, and it’ll feature such health and wellness experts as Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat to Live. Other speakers include Andrea Beaman (a non-vegan but plant-strong chef), Caroline Alexander, a colon hydrotherapist, and Jason Wrobel, a raw, vegan chef.

And, oh yeah: I’ll be attending, too.

It’s worth noting out of fairness to fellow vegans that the agenda is not an entirely vegan one. As one of the organizers respectfully noted to me, the majority of the speakers encourage a plant based diet, but one member of the Weston Price Foundation will be speaking. I have no qualms about saying that that organization’s posture is drastically opposed to everything I believe and try to share on CR, but I will also say that the raw, vegan community here in DC is not vast, and I feel that it’s important for me to support the raw vegan chefs and speakers who’ll be at the event. And there will be a bunch of them! Plus, Andrea Beaman will forever have my love for having been the first Top Chef contestant to try to make plant-based entrees of her own volition, and not because the challenge demanded it.

If you’re a local reader (or like to travel), please enter today’s contest to join me at Take Back Your Health. There are a couple of ways you can do this, each worth 1 entry:

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me why this conference interests you.

2) Tweet the following: @choosingraw is giving away a free ticket to a health and wellness conference in DC in Oct: enter here! http://bit.ly/mZJT29

3) Start following me on Twitter

4) Like Choosing Raw on Facebook

I look forward to meeting you at the event!

On that note, it’s a jam packed day, and still going, so I’m signing off for the eve. Only one day more till I blog to you from the Great Apple!


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  1. This conference would be totally be THE way to give an awesome kickstart to my new plant-based lifestyle!

  2. Hi Gena,
    I did some raw counseling with you awhile back in 2009/10. I am inspired by the impact you have made as a blogger and by your choice to go back to school. I just went through a huge transition in my life: I had a baby in January and have chosen to stay at home with her and pursue my own passion for nutrition. In July I started my Health Coaching certification at the Institute for Intergrative Nutrition. I am very excited about the program and feel this would be a wonderful opportunity for many reasons. Some of them include meeting you, hearing some great speakers and having a little get away for myself. I will now end my mini essay!
    –Tracey 🙂

  3. I’m a college student who’s an aspiring personal trainer, and a big health, exercise & fitness NUT. (I say nut, because enthusiast is an understatement). I’ve never been to a health conference, but would love this one to be my first. I’m looking for any opportunities I can to progress in my career and meet others who share the same passion. I hope you pick me! Thanks 🙂

  4. I would love to attend because I’m getting more and more into raw foods all the time, and always want to learn more. Also, I would love to see D.C. And, I want to learn more about support for plant based diets and it would be super awesome to see the speakers in person! I work with food and love try

  5. I would love to go! I am trying to find a little more of a balance with my eating and exercising (a seemingly endless quest). Inspiration is always welcome 🙂

    Hope you are doing well G!! -Elese

  6. Just had a baby and looking for healthy recipes and tips to get back into a healthier lifestyle as well as better shape. Thanks for all your amazing recipes!

  7. This conference interests me because I do want to take my health back. Healthy living has become a challenge for me lately and I need a kickstart!

  8. I’m definitely interested in going! I live in Virginia, and have really taken my health into my own hands and mind over the last few years, paying more attention to what I consume, how I move, and how that relates to my inner (and outer) self 🙂

    I love that there’s a community built around mindfulness of health and natural well-being, and I’d love to meet other people who are eager to learn and talk about these topics more!

  9. O…..pick me, pick me! I would love to attend this conference……I am a Registered Nurse and always looking for healthy ways to help my patients (and myself) reclaim well being in a natural way!

  10. I would love to attend this conference! Like you, I am making a big life change by going back to school. I will be getting my Master of Arts in Food Studies, so conferences like this are right up my alley.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  11. I would love to “Take Back Your Health”! I am plagued with arthritis, and have a devastating family history of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. But I am determined not to go out like this! I started increasing raw foods in my diet in January of this year and have already lost 24 pounds. I am now passionate about learning more about how and what to eat for my best health. I have great energy and commitment and I love the idea of being able to take control of my health! Pick me! Pick me!

    Thanks much,

  12. Gena,
    Attending this conference would be a great opportunity for me! I am currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and training to be a holistic health coach. I am constantly reading and expanding my knowledge on all things health and nutrition- it would be great to hear from experts in the field in person! I am also a DC resident and would love to meet you- I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and love your insights.
    Oh, and I liked you on FB!
    Thanks! Nicole

  13. Hi Gena,
    Here are my reasons for really wanting to attend this conference. By switching to a plant based diet, I have become a much healthier (and lighter) person. I’m not where I want to be health wise entirely because I can’t seem to shake this unhealthy relationship I have with food. I’m a million times better, but there’s still a hold on me I can’t shake that give me setbacks. I would love any opportunity to help me overcome this, and to burst through to continue to journey.
    Thanks for listening!
    (and I tweeted your comment, and am following you on FB!)

  14. I have Lupus, and am trying my hardest to treat myself holistically on a tight budget. I love food, and have found my symptoms improving on a largely raw diet. I would love the opportunity to hear recovery stories and learn tips from experts in the nutrition field. Thank you so much for offering this giveaway!

  15. The reason I’d like to go to this is I am trying to use veganism as a road to recovery from my ed (also why I love your green recovery series)

  16. Following you on fb and commenting!
    The conference interests me because I’m passionate about taking care of my body and the planet! Sounds like it would be a very enriching and exciting experience!

  17. Gena,

    There is nothing in particular that makes me more “worthy” of getting this incredible opportunity to join you in D.C. But doing so would be the trip of a lifetime.

    I feel that we are kindred spirits in many respects! As a nutrition student/recovered anorexic/high-raw vegan, I feel like we would have heaps of topics to cover over kale salad and smiles. Your experience and insight would be amazing, and I just know we would have the best time together. What’s more, this conference represents everything I (and you!) have accomplished in overcoming my eating disorder. I took back my health.

    Your blog has taught me so many things and greatly aided in my recovery process. Meeting you in person and getting the chance to come face-to-face with a the friendly vegan foodie that helped transform my twisted behaviors would mean more to me than a bagful of kale chips. And If you know me, that’s a big deal! (;

    Stay lovely,

    • Heather,

      I’ve followed your comments and cheered on your healthy attitude to ED recovery for a long time; you may think that I don’t get to know my readers through comments, but I definitely do! I’d love to meet you, and indeed we are kindred spirits.


  18. we would love to attend as we love hearing about and learning from others on variety of health topics, plus would love to hang out with you!! Although not sure if we would be able to make it as we have a family obligation around that same time 🙁
    we look forward in hearing your thoughts on what is discussed there.

    Hope you are having a great time in NYC!

  19. I would absolutely love to attend this conference! Switching to a plant-based vegetarian (and although I shy away from labels, essentially vegan) diet has completely transformed my relationship with food. Largely because of the manner in which I’ve reshaped my diet, I’ve realized that I am incredibly passionate about food, cooking, nutrition, and health, and I’d love to have a career in this area after graduating from college in a couple of years. Just what shape such a career might take is still a mystery to me, though I’m sure that attending this conference and hearing from others in the raw and plant-based community would certainly be helpful in that regard.

  20. I would love to attend to learn more about plant based diets and ways to prepare food and how it can heal your body 🙂

  21. I’ve heard amazing things about this conference!!! It would be such a privilege to go…. and to see you, of course!! 🙂

    Also my vegetarian little sister just got her dream job in DC so it would be fun to stay with her and to share with her all of the info I learn at the conference!

  22. It would be *amazing* to be able to see these speakers (most of them, haha), *and* meet you and some other similar-minded (or -gutted!) people in the DC area. This is a great giveaway!

  23. Oh, what a fun conference! I would love to go because it’s a very broad range of things that I would love to hear about! and of course all the good eats, and your company obviously. 🙂

    I tweeted about the giveaway!

  24. Hi Gena!

    I’d love to go to the conference, and here’s why:
    1. I’m a raw foods, semi-Paleo & gluten-free chef (strange combo, I know!)who’s hemming & hawing over where to go next (MD? RD? IIN?) I’m a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, a former pastry cook at Pure Food & Wine, & I’m also a yoga & Pilates instructor & massage therapist. I’ve finally come full circle (a circle with an EXTREMELY large circumference, mind you) to realize I am happiest when counseling my friends, family & everyone else within earshot about what it means to eat & live in ways that are healthy & balanced for them. I’d relish the opportunity to hear everyone you mentioned speak. It would enrich my life & allow me to be that much more helpful when speaking about health & wellness to others.
    2. I never win anything!
    3. Finally, I’d love to meet you! I’ve followed your blog for quite awhile. I appreciate your level-head & willingness to engage in discussions that many vegans &/or raw foodists will not entertain. Also, I’d love to get some tips on food photography with regard to blogging! I’m rotten at it, & my poor blog has been neglected for want of some mouth-watering photos!!

    Thanks so much,

    P.S. a possible #4: I’m a New Yorker! A transplant from the South, but still, it counts, right??

  25. This conference sounds AMAZING! I am extremely dedicated to health and nutrition, and am in school right now in order to spread its power to others! I would love to attend my first health-related conference and meet others who are equally convicted with the same ideas! Not only that, but I also live nearby in Baltimore, so the travel would be no problem at all!

  26. I would love to attend this conference. I just graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a certified Health Coach, and think this conference would be really inspirational for me. So many amazing workshops, speakers, etc…. I could really use the boost these days.

    Thank you for such a great giveaway!

  27. I hope I’m not too late to enter! (I also entered all four ways!) I’d love to learn how to have more control over my health while managing the stress of grad school and the rest of my life (something I feel like you can sympathize and/or empathize with).

  28. Hi Gena, awesome giveaway! I would love to attend this conference for a number of reasons. I’ve been following a primarily vegan diet for over a year now and I have noticed some amazing changes in my health, but I would love to hear some inspiring words from professionals and chefs to encourage me further. I have had a profound influence on my family since turning to a plant-based diet and it is my hope to keep my parents and loved ones healthy and happy for as long as possible. Sounds like you will have a fabulous time! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

  29. I would love to win this! I live in Virginia, only 20 minutes from D.C. I have been following your blog for awhile, and was excited to see that you have moved to the area. I have just started attending Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and am so supportive of events like these. Right up my alley. Maybe one day we could meet up, and I could take you to some great vegan restaurants in my neck of the woods! Thanks.

  30. I am from the CT (east coast best coast?) and I would love to have the opportunity to attend this conference because my future goals include becoming a nurse and opening up a nutrition based health care clinic! I also have never been to a conference like this before.

    I tweeted, liked you and fb and I am following you on twitter!

  31. I am a Northern VA teen and I am very interested in health and nutrition. I would love to go to this conference because most conferences are not near DC and so I would love the opportunity to experience one nearby first! Plus, it sounds fun and interesting!

  32. As a transplant to DC and a novice in the raw food world, this conference definitely interests me!

  33. Wow this looks amazing! I am currently enrolled in the Holistic Health Counselor training with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and will graduate in April 2012. I would love to go with you to DC. I am also starting a community based CHIP program, by Dr. Hans Diehl, to help people prevent and reverse heart disease, diabetes and other health risks. This seminar is exactly in line with my studies. I have been following you here for probably 2 years and have suggested your site to many of my friends and family. It would be awesome to finally meet you in person!

  34. Just liked you on Facebook! And I would love to attend the conference because I just saw the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (so inspirational and really shows you the power of fruits and veggies!) and was interested in hearing more about what Dr. Joel Fuhrman has to say.

  35. I’ve had breast cancer, am pre-diabetic, and have recently discovered that I’m gluten-sensitive. I am trying everything to remain healthy for a good long life!!

    I’d love to attend this conference to become even more inspired to rely on a plant based diet and relay that information to my fellow cancer-mates in my Well-Fit group.

    If I am not the fortunate one to attend with you, I hope you will share with us some of what you learned!

  36. I’m learning to a appreciate a raw food focus even after 17 years of being vegetarian. You offer so many great suggestions. I would love to spend time and company among others of the same ilk so that I can gleam how to be on the track to becoming a true raw foodie.

  37. I tweeted, and I already follow you on fb and twitter.

    I’m not remotely local, but I’d be so fascinated to see how nutrition luminaries of different persuasions interact with one another. I would also love to hear Dr Fuhrman live. And seeing what current raw chefs are doing would be cool too.

    Have a great time in NY!

  38. Great giveaway! I would be super interested in attentind this conference. My mom was recently diagnosed with cancer so we have been changing our lifestyle… the more information, the better:)


  39. Just four weeks ago my wife and I were closed-minded carnivores. One viewing of a documentary changed our lives and we have gone 4 weeks of being at least 85% raw vegan. Learning more about nutrition and meeting others in the raw community would be fantastic!

  40. I have been living in DC for 6 months now. I’ve been vegetarian for over a year and vegan for two months. It has been an exciting chance to learn about this city through its food and communities. I have been volunteering on a community garden and met other vegans through the process. This conference would be a great chance to learn more about my health in my own backyard.

  41. This conference sounds amazing. I’ve always wanted to visit D.C. I’m a student and a high-raw vegan with a history quite similar to your own, Miss Gena. I’d love the opportunity to meet you and attend such an enlivening, lifestyle-affirming event.

  42. I’d love to attend this conference! It sounds really interesting, and I’ve never been to any formal presentations about plant-based eating and nutrition. I’ve done bits and pieces of ‘research’ on my own, but I would really love to experience some of the bigger people in this world.

  43. I am on a journey to lose over 200 pounds. Attending this conference would mean the WORLD to me!

    I already follow you on Twitter via @ShrinkToFitBlog
    I followed you as @Desert_Belle also and tweeted your giveaway from both accounts. I’ve now also liked you on Facebook!

  44. Hi Gena! I live in Santa Cruz, CA (I like to travel!) and I would love to attend this giveaway for a number of reasons:

    1) At the end of September, I will have finished with my double certification in Nutrition Consulting from Bauman College. I would absolutely love to gain the valuable holistic information from people like Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Jason Wrobel and put in my stores of knowledge in order to help others. I am also a certified colon hydrotherapist and it’s exciting to me to hear others (such as Caroline Alexander) talk about how it is so connected to wellness and health.

    2) I, myself, am a raw vegan and would greatly value learning how to make sure that I am garnering everything I can from my plant based diet in order to be as healthy as I can be.

    3) It is greatly encouraging to have a broader perspective offered out of others’ vast experience. It can feel lonely or even discouraging when not surrounded by others who either believe or value your perspective on food and nutrition. This would be an opportunity to have that support.

    4) I would love to meet you finally! 🙂

    I liked you on facebook!

    I followed you on Twitter, too! 🙂

  45. Gena,

    Like you I took the long road in discovering the potential in not only the foods I eat but also in my body. Suffering from an ED for roughly 9 years, I did not treat my body to health nor wellness. But after finding veg*nism I was able to find compassion for myself and for that to which brings the world pleasure, food. Thank you for being a voice in our community. I hope to do the same.



  46. I would love to attend this conference to learn more about how to best shape a well-rounded plant-based diet.
    It would also be great to connect with like-minded people.
    I’m interested in learning more about benefits of eating raw, and learn ideas for raw food preparation.

  47. I would love to go to support the vegan and plant strong presenters for sure! I would also like to be a vegan presence, I think that if enough of us show up to these events, they will want to cater to our interests more, thus spreading the vegan message to more people! Awesome girl!

  48. I would LOVE to attend the conference…I am a super busy Mom of three and a high raw vegan in a a household that is not…I would love to gather as much information as I can to teach my husband and kiddos the things I am passionate about. I follow you on facebook and twitter…safe travels to NYC!

  49. I would love to attend the conference as a long-term high-raw vegan who suffers from some IBS-related issues. I am passionate about food and nutrition, and am always looking for new ideas. And I love Joel Fuhrman.

  50. I am interested because I am a history buff and have never been to D.C., I just celebrated my veganniversary on July 4th, and am looking at grad schools in the D.C. area! I am going to pursue a public health degree so this would be a wonderful resource and informational event!

  51. I would love to go to the conference for many reasons.

    1. I’d love to meet you in person finally!
    2. I would love to be in the same room with so many people making a difference in the world of health and wellness.
    3. I would have two days to myself. =)
    4. I would be inspired and educated about nutrition and health, a definite interest of mine.
    5. I’m awesome.

  52. I am no vegan but since following this blog have tried so many new recipes! I love health related topics and aspire to be a nurse who helps the whole patient in assisting in their primary need as well as their nutritional needs to heal! And I LOVE food!!!!

  53. Hi Gena,

    What a wonderful giveaway 🙂

    I would love to attend because I just started my vegan journey a couple months ago and I still have so much to learn about plant-based nutrition.

    In addition, I am about to start my Master in Public Health and my thesis subject will DEFINITELY be related to holistic health and all the wonderful ways one can stay healthy through plant-based nutrition.

    Finally, I would love to attend this conference because as it would give me more tools to start my career in holistic health counselling through nutrition ^_^

    PS: I love your blog, thanks for all your wonderful posts 🙂
    PS2: I liked you on Facebook as well.
    I would have tweeted too but don’t have a twitter or smart phone… :p

  54. I would love to attend and:

    1.) learn lots of new things
    2.) meet like-minded people
    3.) support causes I believe in!

  55. This is going to be an amazing event. I am helping organize and as a Health Coach I typically have to go to the west coast. Other speakers include Victoria Moran (Health Coach, Author, Raw, Vegan), Sally Fallon (Weston A Price Foundation) and more! Hope to see some of you there!!

  56. This sounds like a blast! As a vegan I would love nothing more than to support the people working hard to spread information about/ advocate eating a plant-based diet. I have never been to a health conference before but I have heard that they are a really great, informative experience. I would also love to meet other vegans and health-interested people.

  57. I’d love to go! I’ve been nearly 100% raw for almost 4 months so this conference would be amazing to go to!

    And I have an good friend in DC that I’d love to catch up with if I get to go to DC for the conference.

    I already follow you on Facebook. 🙂

  58. I’d love to attend the conference, to learn, explore, and grow on my own nutritional path … and share it with my readers!

  59. I want to attend this conference because turning to a plant based lifestyle and paying attention to the quality of what I eat, changed my life. I lost 200lbs on a plant based lifestyle, so I would love to be surrounded by those who are passionate about that lifestyle, or about becoming healthier in general. It is so important for me to become more knowledgeable, to grow, and to meet others who will inspire me.

  60. I’m a big fan of Dr. Fuhrman. His books and tapes helped me convince several friends and relatives to cut way back on animal products. Sounds like a great conference to attend for his speech alone.

    I follow you on twitter, liked on facebook, and tweeted your link to the contest.

    Whoever gets to go, thanks for making such an opportunity available!

  61. I’ve been plagued by fatigue most of my life and have, the past couple of years, turned my life around and started eating healthily. However, I have a LONG way to go and would love to learn more so that I can, in turn, teach my kids and friends and family.

  62. I would LOVE to go to this conference 1) to learn more about plant-based eating, 2) I love conferences and haven’t been able to attend one since graduating from school, 3) it would be a much needed and welcome weekend get-away, 4) would be a pleasure to meet YOU!

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to enter this giveaway!

  63. I would love to go to the conference because it’s totally my thing, but unfortunately I’ll be a broke college student 700 km away- just a tad too far for me.

    If this was a givaway for a conference in NYC- you might have swayed me. 😉

    I didn’t know you were on facebook, so I “liked” you anyways!

  64. Sounds amazing! I’d love to visit DC for the first time, and I like that the conference offers many different perspectives.

  65. Hi Gena,

    Thanks for hosting such a great give-away! I would absolutely love to attend the Take Back Your Health conference this October. I am an active blogger that strongly believes in living a balanced life full of raw, vegan, whole foods, using my body to run, jump, swim and bike, and encouraging compassion and respect for all living things. I would love to go to the conference to learn more about taking care of my body and meet all of the awesome experts, like yourself!

    On a separate note, thank you for having such a great blog! I love reading your posts.

    Peace, love, happiness,

  66. Why I’d loooooove to go: I really want to become a stronger health advocate. I’m a vegan who transformed her eating and her life, lost 70 pounds, and need some motivation to help with the last 30, and this is the perfect thing for that. (Plus I sorta have a celebrite/friend crush on you :))

  67. i would like to go as a follow up comparison to HLS3. also, even though i eat paleo i try to incorporate many many veg meals into my day. i’m not one to just eat meat all day!

    • Sally Fallon with Weston A Price will be there as well, since you follow a paleo lifestyle you may enjoy her seminar as well!

  68. Oh, I’d love to attend this! After spending the year nursing an injured back and getting off track health-wise, I’d love to have the opportunity to hear from such inspiring people as I make my way back to better eating habits, exercise, a vegan diet, etc. Late October is the perfect time too–just before the challenge of being healthy over the holidays!

  69. I like you, I follow you, I support you, I think you’re rad, but I am not entering your giveaway 🙂

    I will let the entries go to those who are more local or who can fly in for it. I can’t…but it sounds awesome.

    Have a great day, Gena!

    And if you plan to go to any CA or West coast conferences, trips, etc…please email me! I have a few I am pondering and wondering what I am going to choose..

  70. i’d love to go as i’m currently doing a career swap from law into nutrition and am intrigued to meet with and learn from those already in the field (including you!)

  71. I have been following your and other healthy living blogs for over a year. Although I’ve been blogging for 7 years I recently switched over to a new blog with more concentrated focus. I would love to go to this conference and be able to network and learn from others with the same passions as myself. I would use the knowledge gained to help others out there who need the inspiration and motivation to take charge of their health.

  72. Hello, this sounds like an interesting conference. Due to health problems, I recently became (or slowly transitioning) to vegan diet. I would love to attend to learn more. Thank you!

  73. This sounds like an interesting conference. I’d be interested in going because I’m really interested in learning more about where my food comes from, and how to be healthier. I’m already vegan, but meeting a raw chef would be an exciting experience for me. And the fact that it’s close to where I am makes it even more intriguing – I’d love to see more events like this in the metro area.

  74. We live in DC and my husband has been vegan for one year. He would love to attend the conference and learn more ! Sounds amazing!