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Whole Life Expo 2013

We went to the Whole Life Expo in Toronto and saw familiar faces plus a few new ones.

20-Whole Life exp

18-whole life expo show 2013

 

We had to stop at the Upaya Naturals booth and take a few pictures of interesting items they had at their booth. I am not a fan of coffee, so if you’re also not a fan perhaps Dandy Blend is for you?

19-upaya booth

01-Whole life expo

 

I noticed a new personal blender, looks like a handy tool to have in the kitchen.

04-Upaya

 

Can’t say I’ve seen a humidifier like this one, I have a Hello Kitty one, but it looks really neat. It’s also a night lamp and has a compartment for natural oils if you like aromatherapy.

05-Upaya mason jar mixer

Being the urban hippies that we are, we use mason jars to drink with and this is a blender that works with exactly that. Again, how cool is this?

02-Cruda Cafe sign

 

We wandered over to Cruda Cafe‘s both.

03-Cruda Cafe owner

09-cruda cafe wrap making

Had to try a raw food wrap. It was rather large and for $13, not bad at all. Easily something you could share, if you were nice.

06-Cruda cafe wrap

07-Nud fud owner

 

The ever fun owner of Nud Fud – Julia, she is incredibly nice and knowledgeable. This time she had a few new products: Green Energy Snack Bar and Cacao Energy Snack bar. Both look pretty cool and I can imagine taste amazing. Not featured are Chai and Goji Energy Snack bars. You can check out Nud Fud’s nutritional information on their bars here. All of their products are vegan, gluten free, raw and organic. Love that!

08-new nud food bars

13-jbars owner

New on the scene is Justyna Kozlowska, owner of Jbars Protein Snack. I had the pleasure of trying a few and they are incredibly tasty. I love that they are exactly the kind of products I can enjoy: vegan, gluten free, low in sugar, organic and not processed.

10-jbar balls

11-jbar prices

 

Since the product is made fresh they’re in the refrigerated section of stores. Click on the image below to see where you can get your hands on these tasty protein packed morsels.
12-where to buy jbar

14-jbar bars

15-jbars balls 2

16-giddy yoyo

 

We had to stop by Giddy Yoyo and stock up on Mint chocolate. I found it hilarious they had these promo yoyos. Hands down it’s amazing. I got to speak to one of the former chocolate makers and she told me about how she meditated and sang to the chocolate. Now that’s love.

Hope you had a chance to see the show.

 

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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

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

Sprouting! The Sproutman is coming!

I’m up for anything new, I am always curious to learn new vegan food options and frankly, it would be nice if everything came with a youtube video that wasn’t done by an amateur. I heard about an event going on presented by Upaya Naturals about sprouting. I would very much like to learn how the heck to do this. I’ve seen people talk about putting seeds in jars and then changing the water, but how often do you to this? When do you know it’s ready and I need recipes on how to use what I’ve made or I know I’ll just end up giving it away to people who do know how to use it.

Can’t hurt to hear from an expert. Apparently the speaker is Steve “Sproutman” Meyerowitz. That alone sells me. I love that this guy has a verb middle man. Steve is an expert on this stuff, from the states and will be in Toronto to lecture on the subject.

If you’re like me you’re curious, but have no idea what to do, or how to do it.

Event details:
November 25, 2011
Time: 6pm Doors
Lecture: 6:30 start – 8:30
Tickets: $15 in advance $20 at the door
What: Steve Sproutman
Where: 41 Britain Street, Toronto, ON, M5A 1R7 – Grace Toronto Church
Buy tickets here: http://www.upayanaturals.com/Upcoming_Events_s/34.htm

Here’s the Facebook event link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=237658696288904

Bring money, there will be sprouters, dehydrators and more stuff I’m sure. Not exactly what you find in your regular department store, which is too bad, because I think more people should have these appliances.

Have you ever tried this? Are you good at it? I’d love to know.

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