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Thinking of Going Veg? Check Out the AZ Vegetarian Food Fest this Weekend (plus promo code!)

Written by Lauren Loftus Category: Food & Drink Festivals Issue: January 2017
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Courtesy U.S. Veg Corp.Animal protein ain’t the only way to get your gains, bro.

At least, according to a recent study in the journal “Nutrients” from Arizona State University. The researchers tracked the diets of vegetarian and omnivore endurance athletes for a week then had them complete a series of fitness tests. The findings? Both categories of athletes performed at basically the same level and had very similar body compositions.

The plant-only eaters even edged out their meat-eating competitors in a few areas: vegetarians were able to sustain physical effort for longer while meat-eaters stored more visceral fat that can increase risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, another study from Charles University in Prague found that vegetarians smell sexier. Really. In the experiment, (some unfortunate) women sniffed the body odors of men who were on meat or no-meat diets. The results found that women rated the body odors of men on the no-meat diets to be more pleasant, more sexually attractive and less intense than their meat-eating brothers.

All of this is a prelude to our heads up that the third annual Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival is rolling into Scottsdale this weekend. It runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater. Tickets start at $30 for one day passes.

In addition to food samples and vendors, there will also be cooking demonstrations and discussions from a bunch of “notable vegetarians.” A sample of events: a talk on being a vegan athlete moderated by bodybuilding champion Will Tucker and a vegan hot dog eating contest from Simon’s Hot Dogs.

Veg Fest organizers are also offering PHOENIX readers a promo code for 50 percent off tickets to the festival: GOVEGAN2017.

Of course, it’s no secret that we here at PHOENIX love our meat. In our January issue, we even delve into all the new ways to eat meat in 2017. But it is hard to deny the health benefits of eating more plants and less meat.

I know first hand: Several years ago I went vegan (no animal products at all, including dairy) for a few months. After missing cheese more than I thought humanly possible, I segued into a vegetarian diet and eventually started eating meat again. And while I’ll probably always love bacon, I have to admit that I felt better – healthier, more energized, lighter – when I got most of my nutrients from plants.

This year, I’ve resolved to make at least a few of my meals each week meat-free, and I look forward to getting a few tips at the AZ Veg Fest. And, hey, if I start smelling sexier in the process, so be it.