John McDougall, MD is a board-certified internist, author of 13 national best-selling books and the international on-line “McDougall Newsletter.” He is a practicing physician who supervises all teaching and medical activities at the 10-day, live-in McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, CA. Other McDougall activities include weekly webinars, seminars, and health-oriented adventure vacations.
Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-based diet for almost 40 years. Host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ which airs on Foody TV. With her comedy background, she has made appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and more. She is author of the popular book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight. Based in L.A., she teaches how to create meals to transform their health, how to deal with cravings and food addiction and addresses the emotional side of eating. She is the creator of the Ultimate Weight Loss Program, which has helped hundreds of people achieve the health and the body that they deserve. Chef AJ is also creator of Healthy Taste of LA and the YouTube cooking show The Chef and the Dietitian.
Mary McDougall is a nurse, educator, homemaker, and co-author of 11-national best-selling books. She directs all food-oriented activities at the live-in program and has published over 3000 recipes for you to enjoy. Her recipes also make up the Dr. McDougall Mobile Cookbook App. She lectures nationwide on the practical methods of turning your kitchen into a health-builder for the whole family.
As the practice lead for ZOOM+Prime in Portland, OR, Craig McDougall’s medical practice provides people with on-demand access to complete adult primary care by using food and movement before resorting to pills and procedures. Craig also works as a staff physician during the private corporate 8-day live-in medical programs for Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center. Craig graduated with a BS in Biochemistry at the University of California, Davis, before attending Ohio State University College of Medicine, and became board certified in Internal Medicine in 2012. Craig, his wife and two children practice the same recommendations he gives his patients: a healthy diet, reasonable sunshine, exercise and clean habits.
As a leader in the field of bariatric medicine, Dr. Garth Davis was again recently recognized as a Texas Monthly Super Doc and stars with his father, Dr. Robert Davis, on the hit show docu-reality medical series, BIG MEDICINE. He recently published the bestseller, The Expert’s Guide to Weight Loss Surgery. Dr. Davis graduated from the UT in Austin where he was the Student Government President. Dr. Davis completed his surgical residency at the prestigious University of Michigan. While there, Dr. Davis underwent extensive training in general surgical disciplines, specializing in laparoscopic procedures. Dr. Davis is a recognized expert in initial bariatric procedures as well as revisional bariatric surgery, and frequently lectures on the importance of a plant-based diet.
Linda Carney MD is board-certified in Emergency Medicine, from Loma Linda University, a famous Blue Zone. Her radio interviews, podcasts, and private office consults promote vibrant athletic performance and faster healing via the Starch-Smart® System, her anti-inflammatory, fiber-rich, high-nutrient, plant-based program. Speaking internationally at conventions and churches, her food prep delights students of all ages. Her Pinterest, Facebook, DrCarney.com and Veggievore.com sites provide life-saving resources, such as her blogs, articles, and 6 DVDs for world-class health with less medicine. Dr. Carney was hired by Rip Esselstyn as Medical Director for his first seven Engine 2 Immersions for employees of Whole Foods Markets. With her social networking support at Starch-Smart.com, Dr. Carney brings hope through food as medicine.
Baxter Montgomery, M.D., is a busy cardiologist in Houston. As a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Texas and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, he manages arrhythmias and coronary disease, performs angiography, defibrillator implants, and other hospital procedures, and teaches young physicians. But in 2002, he had to take stock of his own health. His cholesterol was far into the not-so-healthy zone. Around the same time, his mother, who had had heart disease and diabetes, succumbed to complications of her illness and of the medications used to treat it. This wake-up call made him re-evaluate not only his own health, but also his approach to medicine. Digging into the scientific literature and nutrition books, he came to some stark conclusions. A healthy diet was plant-based, and animal-based foods had to go.
Chef Miguel Bautista, current executive chef and co-founder of Cancun’s vegetarian haven, Vegan Planet Mexico (touted as one of the healthiest eateries around), is bringing awareness to the vegan philosophy and lifestyle through his extraordinary food. He has crafted a menu that is entirely free of animal products, which highlights his ability to push the creative boundaries with dishes such as sushi, pizza, burritos and chilaquiles. He strives to create menu items that are as nutritious as possible and superfoods are integrated regularly, while gluten-free dishes are celebrated for their health benefits.
Natalie Norman is an attorney turned raw vegan educator and fitness enthusiast who dropped half her body weight by adopting a raw food diet. Following her radical health transformation Natalie became an Advanced Certified Raw Food Nutrition Educator and Certified Sports Nutritionist. She also obtained her Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University and has studied with top raw vegan chefs. Natalie founded an award-winning educational website where she shares mouthwatering simple and easy raw vegan recipes with beautiful food photography and plenty of useful lifestyle tips to keep you inspired, empowered, and supported on your journey to plant-based living.
Sid Garza-Hillman, the Small Step Advocate™, is the author of “Approaching the Natural: A Health Manifesto,” host of the Approaching the Natural Podcast, and host of his YouTube Channel. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Philosophy, and is a speaker, certified nutritionist, and Health Coach, working with private clients all over the world. He is also the Nutritionist and Programs Director at the Stanford Inn’s Wellness Center. Sid lives on California’s Mendocino Coast with his wife and three children, and recently completed both 50K and 50-mile ultramarathons.
Stephanie Redcross started Vegan Mainstream based on a simple idea: to build a pro-vegan world, we need a solid infrastructure of successful businesses and brands to ensure that an ethical lifestyle is accessible to everyone, everywhere. With this in mind, in 2009, Stephanie started developing tools, training and support for the brave individuals who identify themselves as Vegan Professionals – those starting and running vegan businesses all over North America, and the world. She was well-equipped to do this, with more than 15 years of marketing experience with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Since then Stephanie has been a frequent speaker at vegfest, conferences and even her own bootcamp series. Through these types of engagements, and her day-to-day work with Vegan Mainstream, Stephanie inspires others to turn their vegan passion into successful businesses.
Ellen Jaffe Jones is often described as the poster child for vegan fitness. Since ’06, in her age group, Ellen has placed in 106 5K or longer races and is currently 1st in FL in the 800 and 1500 meters, and 4×1 relays. As a certified personal trainer and running coach, she has been the assistant coach for the Manatee High Girl’s Cross Country and Track Team and has helped many clients achieve their health and fitness goals without injury. She is the author of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, Kitchen Divided, Paleo Vegan and just out, Vegan Fitness for Mortals. Ellen hosts the weekly Vegan Mythbusters Radio Show on a Fox radio network in an effort to dispel vegan myths, something she’s dedicated the past 36 years . She’s
Shoshana Chaim is a wife, mother of two and the co-founder of planttrainers.com and the Plant Trainers Podcast. She helps stressed parents and families overwhelmed with physical and mental illness embrace a more holistic, planti-ful lifestyle in order to create more calmness and health in their family life. This is somethings she has done for her own family to help shrink her husband’s tumor and deal with her own PTSD. Shoshana works with clients all over the world through her internet based company and has helped clients lose significant amounts of weight and as a result been able to come off of medications such as insulin and pain killers. She also teaches techniques to regulate childrens’ behavior and helps families on their journey to a more plant-rich diet. Shoshana is also a kids yoga instructor, mindfulness and meditation leader, yogi, triathlete and martial artist.
A graduate of McGill University in Health and Physical Education, Queen’s University and eCornell’s Plant-Based Nutrition program, Adam is a 42 year-old plant-based athlete, wellness advocate, husband, father of two, athletic director, health & physical education teacher and personal trainer. Adam has been in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years. A few years ago, after a major wake-up call, Adam adopted a whole foods plant-based lifestyle, which has enabled him to thrive in all aspects of his life. Adam is the co-host of The Plant Trainers Podcast helping people improve their quality of life through nutrition and fitness. Adam has also been involved with the martial arts and yoga, and learned the importance of connecting the mind, body and spirit in order to be in top physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Adam has completed several marathons, triathlons, ultra marathons, 10km swim, Ironman Texas & Ironman Louisville.
Josh LaJaunie is an unabashed WhoDat, a certified Cajun, and a plant based running advocate. He grew up on, and still lives on the banks of Bayou Lafourche in Thibodaux, LA. There, they “live to eat,” yet, ironically, they, he has realized as he has embarked on his transformation journey, are doing the opposite. They are dying at an alarming rate due to what they eat. Heart disease alone is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths per year in Louisiana, and, he now realizes he was well his way to a probable similar fate at a fairly young age. He found himself weighing 400 lbs by the time he was in his early 30s. However, in the past few years he has lost over 200 lbs and has turned the tide on his health trajectory via the power of eating plants and running miles.
Katie Jarl works to pass animal welfare legislation at the state and local levels, coordinate disaster and rescue response for animals in need, and engage animal advocates on animal protection issues. In 2015, Jarl successfully passed legislation to make the state of Texas the first Gulf Coast state to ban the sell, trade and distribution of shark fins. She worked with the City of Austin to pass ordinances that ban the killing of deer and coyotes and also a ban on bullhooks used on elephants in the circus. Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of the HSUS Media Relations department and worked closely with the animal fighting campaign to promote federal and state legislation. Jarl traveled with the HSUS rescue team to dozens of cities across the country to handle on-site media and assist with dogfighting, cockfighting and animal cruelty cases.
Adam Sud is 34 years old and he’s already battled against obesity, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and drug addiction. Once weighing over 300 pounds, he had lost all interest in life. Addicted to fast food and prescription drugs, Adam dug himself out, reversed his diabetes, and lost 160lbs with plant-based nutrition, after attending an Immersion with Rip Esselstyn. Adam has obtained his Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell and is now an addiction recovery coach who has developed a program using plant-based nutrition as a tool for strengthening recovery and relapse prevention.
Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD is a practicing physician in Houston, Texas. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and was a biochemistry professor at the University of Guadalajara’s School of Medicine in Mexico. Dr. Pineda Ochoa is the co-founder of Meat Your Future, an educational non-profit that provides fact-based information about the health, environmental and ethical implications of consuming animal products.
Shannon Johnson is the owner of Shake & Move Fitness located in downtown Marshall. As an instructor and licensed personal trainer, she has been active in the fitness community for over 15 years and is licensed in Zumba, Zumba Toning, Zumba Step, Zumba Kids and Zumba Sentao. Her passion lies in teaching Zumba to people of all ages. She prides herself on making people feel comfortable no matter what their fitness level. She is an accomplished instructor that keeps classes fun and spontaneous. Her clients rave that she makes them feel like they just left a party, not an aerobics class. When Johnson isn’t working out, she is spending time with her husband, step-daughters and granddaughters.
Malissa Watkins is an ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor and AFFA certified Personal Trainer. She has been in the fitness industry since 2011. Her classes are energetic, fun, and a great way to sweat out the stress of daily life. While she loves the high energy of dance fitness and boot camp classes, she is excited to be able to introduce people to the benefits of lower impact programs, such as FXP Hula Hoop Fitness. As her career in the fitness industry has grown, she has embraced the philosophy of “all ages and all stages”. Making fitness accessible to varying demographics is a passion she pursues.
Since moving to Marshall from Los Angeles, Christina Cocek Anderson has brought her professional background in journalism, publishing, legislative advocacy, and author of a two-volume history-centered, arts-infused curriculum implemented in elementary and secondary schools nationwide to her civic work in our community, state, and region. She and husband, Richard Anderson, former Harrison County Judge and State Senator, renovated, with their partners, the historic Hotel Marshall. They have also worked together on the restoration of the 1901 Courthouse and the establishment of the $1.4 million endowment to assist with the ongoing preservation of the restored Courthouse in perpetuity. Christina, a devoted vegan, also directed Marshall’s successful efforts to win the prestigious National Civic League’s 2015 All-America City Award.
Cindy is Co-owner and founder of Core Yoga and Fitness in Marshall and is a Yoga Alliance 200 hour RYT instructor. Her yoga journey began 15 years ago when she was introduced to Ashtanga yoga in the traditional form as practiced and passed down by Pattabhi Jois. In keeping with her love of Ashtanga, Cindy has studied with Purple Lotus Yoga School, as well as the Anala Yoga School. As a vegan, Cindy strives to share her passion for healthy living and yogic philosophy with others through workshops and training events throughout the country. Her dream is to study extensively in India, to deepen her own personal relationship with yoga, and to impart that knowledge and love to others.
Group exercise instructor, certified personal trainer, and endorphin enthusiast, Andrea is a vegan and proficient in healthy living and eating. Andrea’s love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. When she’s not educating and motivating members at the Anytime Fitness gym she manages, you can find her writing a health and wellness column for her local paper, working in graphic design, reading about nutrition, and eating an insane amount of peanut butter.
Joanie is a native of Marshall and returned to Marshall in 2010. She was first introduced to yoga in Austin where she was earning her Bachelors of Science in Nursing at the University of Texas. After college she was a travel nurse which allowed her to experience many different places, people, cultures, and types of yoga. In graduate school, Joanie focused her research on childhood obesity and the multifaceted benefits of yoga on overall health. Joanie works as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Marshall and is happily married with two children.
Tish is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with a Master’s of Science in Nursing. Her clinical practice is at Good Shepherd Medical Associates Orthopedics. Her practice at Core Yoga continually inspires her to lead others in their practice. Tish enjoys the wellness aspect in the lives of her patients, specifically as it relates to nutrition and exercise. Yoga has proven to be a beneficial, challenging, and comforting way to maintain and encourage not only her own personal health and wellness, but that of her family, friends, and patients. Tish has lived in Marshall for the past 16 years with her husband and their three children.
Jackie Mcdonald is a Zumba Instructor, POUND pro and Certified Personal Trainer. A retired Tattoo Artist, Jackie has taken a new path by delving into veganism and it’s benefits for health and fitness the welfare of animals and the healing of the planet. She is a published author, comedy junkie, and is currently working on obtaining her goal to compete in bodybuilding and represent plant-based muscle. Jackie is strong to the finish because she eats her spinach! A mother of three and grandmother she lives with her husband in Jacksonville, Texas.
Lori Barber has a 200-hour yoga alliance teacher certification and studied under Ana
Brett and Ravi Singh, learning the Raviana method of Kundalini Yoga. She holds a Masters of Arts in History and Anthropology. She also has a plant-based nutrition certification. When she is not doing yoga, she is a lecturer at Idaho State University in History, American Culture, Food Studies, Anthropology of Food and Women Studies. She is passionate about helping people live life to the fullest through Kundalini Yoga, proper nutrition, education and exercise. Lori teaches regular Kundalini Yoga classes at the Idaho Yoga Co-op in Idaho Falls, ID. She will be teaching a Kundalini Yoga class at the festival.