Category Archives: Trade show

Niagara Veg Fest 2013

It was a fantastic day for the Niagara Veg Fest. Thankfully, the weather held off and it wasn’t rained out. Hats off to the organizers, the volunteers, the vendors, the speakers, all the effort that goes into this kind of event deserves to be congratulated and acknowledged. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, I hope you’re able to able to stop by the Niagara Veg Fest General Store and purchase a few items to show your support and help them keep the event free.

We went through a few times and there were just so many wonderful vendors to see and talk to. I tried to take as many pictures as I could remember to take!

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We were lucky enough to be part of the first 100 who received a Niagara Veg Fest grab bag. Some of the vendors were super kind to donate $10 gift certificates and or free products coupons. I can understand how hard it is for a small business to put up that kind of money, but I hope it works out for them. As soon as we walked in it was crowded!

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The very kind and lovely Ella of Ella’s Botanicals was there from Toronto and her new packaging is very eye catching.

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We didn’t even have a chance to see what the Naked Sprout had they were so busy. I noticed people had tortila wraps, I assume it came from them.

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Bamboo Natural Food Market was there in full effect – great people with a good selection of natural products.

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Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, located just outside Stratford, Ontario, is a place of hope for animals rescued from the abuse, neglect, and slaughter found on meat, milk, and egg farms. Hundreds of farm animals, including goats, pigs, sheep, donkeys, chickens, cows and ducks have been rescued since the sanctuary began in 1999.

They’re having an awesome event June 22!

CLICK HERE to donate.

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We met the lovely people behind Bare English & Co. Lip Balm. All of their products are vegan and gluten free. They offer a variety of different scents/flavours:

Vanilla Coconut - a sweet and tropical creation infused the goodness of green tea.
Mint Chocolate - a chocolaty peppermint delight infused with refreshing peppermint tea.
Pomegranate Berry - a fresh and fruity blend infused with nutrition packed white tea.

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I will be writing a review of their products for sure. I have been meaning to as I have been using the Pomegranate Berry for a few months now. I picked up the other two flavours and am excited to try them both. LOVE when a Canadian company steps up to the plate and really pushes a quality product. Bonus points for both owners also being vegan.

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Mat bought a Mercy for Animals tshirt and I should have taken a picture of him wearing it. Such a good cause and I applaud the work they do. I don’t know how hard it must be for people to infiltrate these factory farms and not crumble when they see the horrid conditions the animals are being kept in. Kudos to them and I hope more people see their work and think. CLICK HERE to donate.

26-20130602_124133Live on Chocolate uses raw cacao in their products. I’ve had their pudding before, it’s quite good and good for you.  Their cacao is Organic and Fair Trade, supporting sustainability for the farmers and the land from where the cacao grows. CLICK HERE to find their products.

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What can we say about Apiecalypse Now! Jenny is a fantastic baker, animal rights activists and honest to goodness real person. Her tiny hand make vegan products straight from her big heart. I’ve written before about her mint marshmallows – to die for. SO good with gluten free rice cereal. Oh yeah.

I urge you to visit her store and show her some support: http://apiecalypsenow.storenvy.com/

Sick on Sin tshirts are just too cool and a wicked way to show your veagn support. Plant eaters unite and be fashionable while doing so! They have a variety of products:

 

 

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Jen and Mike do a bang up job of making it fun to express a vegan message without saying a word.

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We did go to two talks and I wish I had thought to take pictures during them. I don’t know what I was thinking, but perhaps the excitement of it all was just making me silly.

We saw Susie Coston, National Shelter Director, Farm Sanctuary and she was just fantastic. I laughed and I got teared up at the pictures of the animals. I am so amazed at what people like her do and what Farm Sanctuaries mean for animals. I sense a visit to one in our future.

We stuck around to meet JL Fields, Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator and I am so glad we did. What a delightful person and great hugger! Her common sense approach to vegan food preparation struck a chord with me. I assume sales of pressure cookers are going up due to JL. ;)

All in all, such a good day, good food and super nice people all around. Well done Niagara Veg Fest team – I can’t wait for the next one!

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Air Eater Hiatus

Sometimes you have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. Right now Mat and I are focusing on the Vegan Bloggers Unite! ConFest (happening hopefully in Oct. 12-13, 2013) and I have to put Air Eater aside to make that happen. In between Air Eater, running VBU!, Concept Branding (Toronto’s only vegan social media company), a day job and I’m currently working on a novel –  I realize that I am being pulled in too many directions. I will still continue to keep VBU! running, but my beloved Air Eater will have to hold on until I am able to devote more time.

I do not want to abandon my blog, so this is a time out to focus on the ConFest. Now why am I calling it a ConFest and not a conference? One half of the venue we pick will be the conference part for vegan bloggers (speakers/workshops/product demos) and the other half will be a festival with vendors for anyone welcome to enjoy.

With that in mind – thank you everyone for being so supportive. I love the very kind emails I receive asking about ingredients or my experience with certain products. Thank you for thinking of me!

A big hug goes out to all of you and I hope you’re able to attend the VBU! ConFest in Toronto 2013!

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Whole Life Expo 2012

We went to the Whole Life Expo and I think this year it was better than last. The show is divided into three sections: 1) Food, 2) Health related products and 3) Health related services. As foodies we tend to stick to the food section and were happy to see a bunch of familiar faces.

This picture makes the show look calm, but let you tell you when people have their back packs on and aren’t paying attention this get crowded FAST.

First, we stopped at Upaya Natural’s booth – they had a wide selection of raw, vegan, organic foods and appliances. I took pictures, but I realized after we left they were blurry. I’d go so far as to say they have the most selection of any raw/vegan store, they will most likely have anything you can think of and they are always adding more products to their mix. We bought our Blendtec and Excalibur dehydrator and Omega Juicer through them – oh, and our spiralizer as well. They are more than equipment, they have every raw/vegan food item you can imagine from: dehydrated mulberries, to enema bags, to Earthings grounding shoes and more.

Giddy YoYo is a company out of Orangeville, Ontario and they make raw chocolate amongst other things. They recently change their packaging and increased the size of their chocolate while maintaining the same price. That is pretty impressive. You don’t hear of a company giving you more of a product and not charging you for it. We are addicted to the mint raw chocolate. I cherish it and eat it one square at a time. Too good. I asked Mark, one of the owners, about the shelf life of the chocolate and if it’s okay not to seal it once opened. He mentioned it was fine, oxidation does not occur, but chocolate can age like a fine wine. Mind you raw chocolate from 1960 wouldn’t be suitable to eat, but month old chocolate is okay.

Cruda Cafe was very busy with their raw tacos and desserts. These were the same tacos I reviewed at the CNE this summer. Cannot say enough good things about how good the tacos were then, we had already eaten before we came, but that really shouldn’t have stopped me now that I think about it. Ah well. If we’re in St. Lawrence market on a weekend I’m sure we’ll venture to the basement level to find the storefront of Cruda Cafe.

Rawfoodz is an organic raw vegan salad dressing company and they recently started making a raw chocolate spread that’s not on their website. I tried it during the Raw Food festival. What is on their site is their new Butter style spread both in original and garlic. That I can totally get behind – freaking tasty. I’ve tried the dressings and the spread and each are pretty darn good. I have a preference to Italian Idol, but don’t let that discourage you from trying others. They’re creamy and intensely flavourful, it’s hard to believe the dressings are raw. The dressings are great on kelp noodles, raw coleslaw, veggie dip just to name a few uses.

A new face on the raw vegan scene is Rawlly Delicious. They are operated by a husband/wife team Natalie and Derek Neal based in Caledon, Ontario. On my high raw days I have resorted to carrying nuts and seeds with me to snack on. Sure that does the trick, but why not have a fulfilling treat that provides 5g of protein per serving. Rawlly Delicious has five flavours of Energy Ball: Hulk Energy, Nuts About Hazel, Almond Crunch, The “Seed” and Coconut Bliss. They have since added one NEW product: Chaga-Maca Brawnie.

Chaga-Maca Brawnie

What I love about these Energy Balls a) they all taste amazing, yes I have stuffed my face with them and b) they’re sprouted/raw/organic. I asked Natalie how long does it take to make each Energy ball batch and her answer – four days in total. That’s commitment. I like the idea of having a product that I can eat on the go and not feel guilty about. In fact, I feel pretty darn good after eating them just because they are easier to digest. Rawlly Delicious has an auto-ship program so you can opt to have a customized order shipped to you so you never run out. I can see this being very helpful in keeping up with my new addiction.

This is the six pack of all of the Energy Ball products. At the show the price was $20. I’m not sure if this is going to be sold on their website, but hopefully it will. 

What kind of Air Eater post would this be without the Nutritional Value information? (Click to enlarge) The Chaga-Maca Brawnie info is missing as it’s still being finalized. Here is a link to their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube account. Amazing that this little company has already been featured on CTV.

Overall, I am very glad we went to the Whole Life show, it was worth the parking and crowds to get the great deals we did. I felt hilarious walking around with so many raw food items, but I refuse to feel guilty about healthy pleasures.

Happy eating!

 

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Filed under Gluten free eating, Healthy Snacks, raw, Trade show, vegan

Gluten Free Expo 2012!

I’ve been invited to promote Air Eater at the Gluten Free Expo in Toronto. I’m super excited, what a great event

Gluten Free Expo – TORONTO
September 30, 2012
10am – 5pm
655 Dixon Rd, Toronto, ON (DoubleTree by Hilton)
Tickets are $12 at the door or save money by purchasing online for $9 each.

Buy tickets here!

Hope to see you there!

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The Canadian National Exhibition 2012

Have to love the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), many fun memories as a child, teenager and now as an adult. Crazy to think the CNE has been going for 133 years! I can only imagine what it looked like back then.

According to the CNE fact sheet:

- Approximately 1.3 million attendance, largest fair in Canada, 8thlargest in North America.
- Has evolved and changed over time; emphasis has shifted from exhibits to entertainment and interactive experiences.
- Self-funded, the CNE is a major economic generator for the province of Ontario
- CNE is financially stable and operates without any annual subsidy.
- An Economic Impact Study conducted by Enigma Research Corporation in 2009, reported that the CNE had a gross economic impact of $58.6 million on the Greater Toronto Area and $80 million on the province of Ontario.
- CNE is a provincially chartered, non-profit agricultural society.
- CNE is EcoLogo certified making it the Greenest Fair in North America

Pretty impressive stats for an exhibition. I’d have to say the main attraction for a lot of people I know is the Food Building. Incredibly packed with food from all over the world, but only ONE raw vegan booth called Vie. Vie was the only guaranteed vegan and gluten free place we could eat and frankly after trying the tacos, I didn’t want to try anywhere else.

We spoke to the booth owner who explained he was being supplied by St. Lawrence market’s Cruda Cafe. The tacos were comprised of a dehydrated corn soft taco shell, a sour cream, corn, avocado, shredded lettuce, tomato, and magical spices that all really worked. We were incredibly pleased and impressed. Had to try the desserts, two chocolate and one key lime, had to stop myself from eating more. The entire meal was incredibly delicious, filling and had me wondering what else could be created.

We walked around and took a few pictures, but couldn’t photograph everything, just a heck of a lot going on.

 The animal section was the saddest part for me. I hated seeing: chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, sheep ostrich, llamas, alpacas cooped up. Like this is what they want to do for two weeks. I realize this is probably the only time some city children will see live farm animals, but that’s what animal sanctuaries are for. I saw a turkey fighting with another, the bigger one was pulling the other’s gullet. I hit the plastic window a few times to try to startle them to stop, but that didn’t work. The attendant wasn’t there and I told the information booth what happened. I have no idea if my information was relayed, but I’m going to be optimistic.

This is a sign in the Food Building. I am very impressed that the different food options were displayed so clearly.

Here’s where our glorious meal at Vie started:

These tacos were beyond tasty, we ended up eating one and then coming back for two each for take away. I would dare anyone to eat these and not be full, they were fantastic!

There’s no way you could tell the brownies were raw, they were so moist and rich, incredibly well done. The key lime was also tasty and not overly sweet. Excellent.

As we are slaves to our devices, we were glad to see there was a free phone charging box with clear markings which cable worked with what phone. Pretty cool to be able to charge your phone while at an event as such.

This is the newest addition to the CNE,  according to the Wiki: Sky Ride, a cable car ride introduced at the 2012 CNE in the spirit of the Alpine Way.

It was a sun screen kind of day and a great way to spend the time if you’re into rides and eating all day. Why not? There are vegan options and one for sure gluten free vegan option. Not sure if Vie is coming back next year, but they certainly have my vote versus the rest of the food.

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Filed under Eco Friendly, gluten free, Health, Healthy Snacks, Meals, raw, Trade show, vegan

And I’m back + Air Eater Goes Red (Again)

  
  
What a fantastic week off, it was great to just bum around at home and… who am I kidding, I got things done while I was at it. Mat and I scouted locations for our Vegan Bloggers Unite! Conference (2013).

Also, a variety of chores/errands that are too boring to really mention. No one wants to read about how you had an oil change.

I enjoyed having time to meet with a client for Concept Branding as well as start talks with another client for a US project. Really enjoy the vegan love, it’s a great feeling when people want to come together and work within the community. Vegans helping vegans makes my heart warm.

On Wednesday we had dinner with our friend Laurie Sadowski. Laurie has been featured on VBU! and she is an author of a fantastic vegan/gluten free bread cook book: The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread.

 

I’m not the greatest when it comes to gluten free baking, so getting to pick her brain about what tips/tricks don’t translate from regular baking really was fun. On the plus side, she is a lovely person and incredibly entertaining to boot.

Then, the moment you’ve been waiting for – drum roll please!

Air Eater goes red (again)!

Here is the red henna mix as per the instructions from Morrocco Method Int’l:


I painted the colour on with an actual paint brush I bought from the dollar store, it was incredibly helpful with covering my head evenly. I let the mixture sit on my hair for an hour and I plastic wrapped my head in BPA plastic wrap. Mat had to help with this one. You can imagine the laughing and the squeals.

Yes, here I am in my dorky splendour:

As I didn’t like the way my hair was behaving afterwards in terms of style I will leave you with a close up shot of the colour. I went from a brown to copperish:

I’ll most likely change my Twitter/Facebook avi soon, I am adjusting to the new colour and I do believe I need an actual hair cut.

As for the process as a whole, it was a bit of a challenge as I didn’t expect there to be so many steps.  I do love how soft my hair feels. I believe I have found a new addiction of hair care, I haven’t found a vegan product that makes my hair feel as soft as Morrocco Method raw vegan shampoo. Seriously, I know what I’m buying myself for Christmas already.

There you have it! Now, back to recipes and product reviews.  I’ll leave you with Scooter “Good to be back”

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Filed under celiac, gluten free, Hair Care & Beauty, Health, Trade show, vegan

Raw Vegan Festival – Summer 2012

The Raw Vegan festival held at 918 Bathurst was fantastic yet again. New vendors and such a fantastic vibe from everyone there.  I couldn’t take enough pictures. The problem was that I’d take a picture of the banner of the vendor, then spend way too long talking to the vendor to remember to take more pictures of the food.

Right by the top floor entrance was our friend from Live. We adore their food and their lovely products.

We stopped by the Upaya Naturals booth. Always full of a broad selection of health and super foods, Upaya has items you won’t find in your regular grocery store, run by two raw vegans who believe strongly in organic products to say the least. Have you tried Dandy Blend? I heard it’s a great coffee replacement.
We came across a vendor called Ausable River Soap Co., all the way from Lucan, Ontario.  We spoke to the owner Jaime, who explained how she hand crafts her soap items and makes everything in small batches. The only non-vegan item is the lip balm which has Beeswax. To the celiacs: If you’re going to order any soap, be mindful if it contains gluten (oatmeal) and double check ingredients.
Almost hidden away downstairs we came across Rawlly Rawlly Delicious, a husband and wife duo making raw, gluten free, vegan treats! Very nice to see a couple coordinate as such. When I asked Natalie why she started making such treats, her reply was to fool her child into eating healthy. Rawlly Rawlly Delicious uses a lot of healthy ingredients, so there’s no guilt involved, it’s a tasty way to get  your vitamins.
Here’s Derek, Natalie’s husband proudly working the booth.
Here’s the video clip he has playing when Natalie was invited to speak on television for CTV:

Back upstairs the venue was starting to get busy:
We visited the Health Nut booth. The lovely lady on the left, Mandi, is the creator and maker of Specialty Nut Butters & Raw Vegan Nut Cheese (Raw, Vegan and Organic). Where can you buy these wonderful hand made items? Why click here and find out!
At this point we were feeling hungry and had to go visit Nzyme downstairs. They do not have a physical restaurant, but they do catering and I regret eating too quickly as we forgot to take a picture.
Back downstairs we saw the Nud Fud table and the crowd started to really form at this point, so I took limited pictures. I wish I could show the bags of raw, vegan, gluten free snacks.
Here’s an idea of their product offering: Click to enlarge
Close by we visited with Chica Momma, a Caledon-based company that specializes in raw gourmet catering and education. Jessica, a high raw vegan mother of three created this business as a result of being captivated by raw food. Her lunch and learn program, “Give it to me raw!”, for the workplace teaches people how to incorporate raw food and explore the world of organic raw cuisine in 30 minutes. Not bad for a lunch break.
At this point there was barely any turning around room and we didn’t get to speak with the owner of 365 Deli, but had a chance to snag a quick picture:
There were so many other vendors, wish I had a chance to stop at each booth and take pictures properly, but the event was very busy and well attended. I plan on going to the winter one as well. Great show over all.
Honourable mentions:
Doug McNish was there with his beautiful wife Candice selling Doug’s new cook book. I have this book and I would HIGHLY recommend it. (I do not receive a penny for this statement) I find his recipes are simple, quick and tasty. That’s how I like things and clearly Doug and I are on the same page. I have to say his Nacho Cheese recipe has made a permanent home in my house.
Tonic Magazine: A great place for health information. From their website – “Tonic Toronto is the best health, wellness, nutrition and green lifestyle magazine in the city. We’re all concerned about living longer, living better and a livable future. Published eleven times a year, Tonic covers food, fitness, natural healthcare and the environment with timely and informative articles that will surely quench your thirst for knowledge. Find us in your home-delivered Globe and Mail or free for pick-up in over 160 locations throughout the GTA.”
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Filed under Eco, gluten free, Healthy Snacks, Meals, raw, Trade show, vegan

Sage Fair: Change Matt – Eco cloth diapers

One of the vendors we met at the Sage Fair was Sara Vartanian from Change Matt. She started her company as a result from having her own child, who is the face of their products, and wanted to have an eco friendly alternative to diapers piling up in a landfill. How adorable are these items?

Sara gives workshops on how to learn Cloth Diapering properly:
http://www.changematt.com/ai1ec_event/learn-to-cloth-diaper/?instance_id=

I imagine this is rather helpful for new mothers. What a great way to reduce garbage waste and have that bonding time.

You can follow Sara on Twitter and Like her Facebook page.
Located in Toronto: Avenue Rd. & Eglinton Ave., Toronto, ON M5N1L4
Phone: (647) 361-8437

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Sage Fair 2012: Pure Simple Living

Mat and I went to the Toronto Sage Fair, located in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, on June 3, 2012. There were quite a few vendors that were too good to keep quiet about. One such vendor was Pure Simple Living. Run by Cynthia Li, who is a mother to an adorable little girl and wife to a chemist. I didn’t catch her husband’s name, but I am intrigued by the science part.

Cynthia decided to start her company, while she was starting her family as she couldn’t find items that she could feel good using. I’m sure many new mothers felt frustrated looking for eco friendly items that weren’t tucked away in specialty shops. To fulfil that need, she took it upon herself to contact vendors from Canada and eco/ethically conscious countries to create Pure Simple Living.

She has so many lovely items that are eco friendly, cost effective and save more than just the world in the long run.

For example, Tiffin boxes, (we happen to have the same ones) they’re practical and don’t leach into your food. Yes, there’s BPA free plastic, but in the end, it’s plastic, not what you want touching your food.

Once you start going through the daily items that you take for granted, it dawns on you, I should really only have: glass, metal, wood, or natural fabrics. A metal ice cube tray may not change your life, but it will save you from having to buy a few crappy ones.

For a mom who just started this business last year, I am very impressed with her gumption, passion and dedication to provide the best for her customers. Who doesn’t want to live a healthier life, part of that is changing the way you view the every day items you interact with; it’s not just about food. Change starts with you and even a small change can spark a total transformation.

By replacing your lunch container with a metal/glass container, plus bringing your own cutlery vs using plastic, and then only using re-useable bags, you’re already making a difference. These little things add up and before you know it, you’re using eco friendly detergent, don’t leave home without your re-useable drinking bottle, and can’t wait to go home to your hemp terry cloth bathrobe.

Even if you’re not a mother, you can certainly appreciate the eco friendly nature of Pure Simple Living.

Click here to see the current Specials on Pure Simple Living

Pure Simple Living: Facebook  Pintrest  Twitter 

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Filed under Biodegradable Cleaning products, Eco Friendly, Hair Care & Beauty, Trade show

Niagara Veg Fest 2012

We went to the Niagara Veg Fest and were pleasantly surprised that there were so many people interested in vegan vendors. Mat grew up, not far from the venue, and from his experience he wasn’t expecting the crowd that we saw. To be precise, the event counted 1,250 people that came through the doors. Amazing! Kudos to the organizers and volunteers for putting on such a great event. It’s great to see people becoming interested in the veg life as well as new vendors branching into the area.

The only problem was the venue was too small to accomodate all the people. It’s difficult to gauge, especially for a first time event, what the crowd is going to be like. Guess next year will be in a larger venue and will most likely draw even more.

There were a few moving parts to the festival:
- vendors
- food served/eaten in the crowd (made things a tiny bit uncomfortable as people were walking with their food to the outside eating area)
- combination silent auction/raffle with prizes
- face cut out picture board
- speakers/talks

There were quite a few vendors, I didn’t have a chance to speak to everyone as much as I’d like, but that’s what you get when it’s a popular event.

The show over all was incredibly well done, I enjoyed it a great deal, the vendors/speakers were spot on. Great job Niagara Veg Fest! Can’t wait for the next one.

Here’s an idea of what it was like, except imagine it being abuzz with laughter, and general good vibes:

The owners of Natural Notes

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Filed under gluten free, Trade show, vegan