Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Plant-Based VegFest Expands Presenters will present the 2018 SWFL VegFest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., January 28, at Riverside Park, in historic downtown Bonita Springs. While learning the science behind the benefits of and where to find healthy plant-based foods locally, as well as the sources of eco-friendly and cruelty-free products, attendees of the free event will enjoy food vendors and samples, entertainment, cooking demonstrations, a kids zone, competitions and animal adoptions.

Guest speakers include Chef AJ, host of her own television series, Healthy Living, and the creator of the Ultimate Weight Loss program; Gene Baur, co-founder and president of the Farm Sanctuary; Dr. George Guthrie, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine; Dr. Hans Diehl, founder of the Complete Health Improvement Program; Jim Hicks, author of Health Eating, HealthyWorld; Dr. Sal Lacagnina, system medical director of wellness and employee health at Lee Health; and Dr. Scott Stoll, of the Plantrician Project at Rouxbe cooking school.

A second stage is being added for this year’s event to make room for presentations by fitness experts Brenden Fitzgerald, of Planet Protein, Inc., a former Marine Corps infantry squad leader; Erica Graziani, a triathlete and Lee Health registered dietitian; and Marcus Watts, fitness liaison to the Fort Myers Police Department SWAT team and a former pro basketball player.

“The guest speakers do tremendous work around the country and internationally, and we’ve worked with many of them for other Lee Health events and previous VegFest editions,” says Lacagnina, also the festival presenter coordinator. “While nutrition is the foundation, the fitness experts help reinforce the importance of physical activity in our Wellness Wheel program that we follow.”

Event sponsors include Lee Health, the Blue Zones Project, Natural Awakenings Collier/Lee edition, Jason’s Deli, Whole Foods, Ada’s Natural Market, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., PA, Pyuve Brands and the Prawnbroker restaurant and Fish market.

Free admission. Free valet service for bicyclists. Location: Old 41 Rd., between Terry St. and Bonita Beach Rd. For more information, visit or

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