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With so many diet fads, we?re not sure how to change our eating habits for the better. But an upcoming food conference promises to make us more energetic, sleep better, lose weight and--get this--solve the U.S. health-care crisis and stave off disease--all without gimmicks.

The Farms 2 Forks weekend addresses the science behind switching to a plant-based diet, one in which cutting out meat, milk, cheese and the like lessens artery-clogging fat and cholesterol. It?s based on research by Cornell University?s Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Cleveland Clinic surgeon Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., stars of the acclaimed 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives. While the conference (beginning April 12 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County) includes big science from medical professionals, what we?re most hungry for are the how-to sessions. 

One lecture focuses on how to order healthfully in restaurants. Another instructs how to read labels and shop at the grocery store. There?s even a talk about the diet?s social conflicts (basically, how not to turn into a vegan bore).

The weekend (meals included, naturally) costs $575 plus accommodations; we?re rationalizing that for the price of a decent case of wine, we?ll get a buzz to last a lifetime.

Hyatt Regency Orange County, 11999 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove; 714-750-1234 or farms2forks.com

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