I had an amazing week in Vancouver; it was one of those trips that reinforced that I am on the right path in life- I love experiences that build more love for my life and my abilities. And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Organika for giving me the opportunity to represent them. There’s a saying that goes “people make the company” and this saying rings very true at Organika; everyone was so welcoming to me. I genuinely enjoyed spending time with the Organika Family!
The week kicked off with YouTube video filming at the Organika Test Kitchen; which was the kind of kitchen I dream about when I sleep. Crystal and I made four of the six recipes I created for Organika; and we had a blast at the shoot. I was grateful for having this day scheduled prior to Breakfast Television Vancouver, because I was able to practice my on camera skills.
I was up ridiculously early on Friday morning; I was so excited for my first television appearance, and I’ve been told I looked natural- honestly, I was so nervous, my hands and knees were shaking; but thankfully not enough that the camera could pick up on it. Everyone at BT Vancouver we’re gems, really nice people. I definitely hope to present there again.
I was finished at Breakfast Television by 9:30 am; so I went back to my hotel room and prepped for a day out on the town! I was riding high from having my Coconut and Almond Crusted Shrimp recipe featured in Metro Vancouver and, of course, BT; and Vancouver delivered one of those days that makes people love a city like this. So, naturally, I treated myself to a daylong gallivant around downtown Vancouver. I walked to Granville Island, cruised the marina, bought myself flowers and a delicious lunch, complete with wine, at Bridges right on the water; and then I walked back, along the water and returned to my hotel. That evening I went to the revolving restaurant in my hotel; they played amazing music and my meal was yummy and indulgent.
Friday was the perfect day.
Saturday was when the chaos began; CHFA West. I was at the Organika booth, which was receiving compliments all weekend. Organika’s color is green, but a large green booth can go all sorts of wrong; but Angie, from Organika, chose a green that was bang on. I was proud to be working that booth. Periodically I would step away from the booth to check out the other exhibitors; there were so many booths, I had to conquered the show in sections. And for those who are attending CHFA East or any trade show for that matter, two words, COMFORTABLE SHOES. Between walking all over Vancouver and two trade shows over three days, my feet are none too happy- but it was all worth it!
CHFA West Highlights
Although I feel that the product has some very obvious benefits; I was taken by SexCereals courting of controversy. A big flag, with the words sex cereal emblazoned on it, is genius. SexCereal is set apart from the rest of the Whole Food Cereal pack, by their branding efforts; having different gender based concoctions, allows them to market to both sexes exclusively. However, with that said, the Whole Food Cereal, Holy Crap, is packed in a very conservative manner and they sell like gangbusters.
I wouldn’t write off SexCereal as just clever marketing backing a substandard product; I had it for breakfast the morning after the CHFA West with almond milk, and it was delicious! No joke; I really enjoyed my bowl and I would imagine this mix would make a lovely addition to steel cut oats.
Their website is currently counting down to their launch, which I find mildly annoying considering people are going to naturally want to know more about you following a Tradeshow; but I digress. If the CHFA West was any indication, you will likely find it very soon, at health food store near you.
Kombucha was everywhere at the CHFA West show; ranging in flavor from light and fruity to tangy and, well, tangy. I love kombucha, bitter or sweet- I don’t discriminate; so I enjoyed tasting a range of Kombucha styles. There was even Kombucha with chia seeds; and if you were in junior high school in the late 90’s and early 2000 then I can only describe it as Orbitz like.
For months, I have been following Tonica Kombucha; between Twitter and Facebook, I knew what’s going on with Tonica Kombucha. So when I finally got to meet the women behind the brand- after going back and forth on Twitter- it didn’t disappoint; how could a free bottle and copious amount of samples disappoint!
Mum’s Original is a brand that I have been recommending and using personally since I found them in Edmonton. Prior to discovering Mum’s as a brand, I was following the woman behind the brand, Ann Barnes, she’s an author and pioneering ethical AND successful food entrepreneurship; Ann and I had a lovely chat, as we are both passionate about real food, I LOVE it when people are exactly like their online personas!
Their booth was also one of the more creative booths at the show; they had a nutrition wall, that they would get people to sign, and I couldn’t resist! The wall was definitely a fun idea that helped Mum’s stand out from the crowd.
I’m an admitted magazine addict; Whole Living, Glamour, Natural Health, Elle, Elle Canada, Women’s Health, YOGA, YOGA Journal and these are the ones that come to my door. I have, also, been known to pick up a magazine or three in my travels throughout each publication period. And one of my favorite magazines is Alive Health.
The recipes are not only delicious, but they are well written and, most importantly, they work; if a recipe doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter how well it’s written. Every month I get excited when I see the Alive Magazine; and every month I vow to query them- but I don’t. Magazine writing scares me; perhaps Meryl Streep from The Devil Wears Prada has left me afraid of magazine editors. But having met the Editor in Chief Stuart Harries, I realized editors are people too- nice ones to boot!
Yogalicious Probiotic Kefir
They promised it was just like ice cream; and they were right. Creamy and very ice cream like; but with loads of probiotics and no added sugar. As I was enjoying my sample, of which I actually had three, I thought that this would be excellent with fresh, juicy raspberries and chopped pistachios; and then I wished I had pistachios and raspberries. In any case, Yogalicious Probiotic Kefir is a product to watch!
Another probiotic, that comes in dairy and non dairy varieties. This product comes in tiny, two sip servings; that I would equate to one of those DANONE shots; but that’s where the comparisons end. This stuff is the real deal- 100% probiotic; and it comes in different strengths, regular, strong and extra strong. The flavor and texture is that of tangy liquid yogurt- which I liked; they also offer a variety of flavors, but only one flavor for those who opt for dairy free.
Since seeing BioFlavia on Dragon’s Den, I have been eager to work with a product like this. Bio Flavia is an organic red wine grape skin powder; with an ORAC value of 11,000! I had already been in contact with Robert; but meeting face to face, in every instance, is always best. I, honestly, cannot wait to work with this stuff- the recipe ideas are already swirling around my head!
Another Dragon’s Den alumni, Honibe is a raw food honey line of products; from lozenges, sprinkles, honey candies and the product that inked them a deal with four dragon’s in the den, honey drops. Honey drops are individually packed raw honey that you can hold in your hand- pure dried honey; available in lemon and original flavor. I was particularly fond of the lozenges; as honey is a natural anti bacterial and anti viral, a pure raw honey lozenge is a great way to boost immunity. Until I find Honibe in Edmonton, I will be consuming my lozenges conservatively- which may be hard, considering they taste amazing!
Organic Coconut Oil/Butter Ghee Blend
As a chef, this product had me all a twitter; also likely due to the free popcorn sample, generously garnished with this healthy lipid blend. The flavor potential in this product is through the roof; calming the coconut flavor by cutting it with organic ghee (aka clarified butter), while still keeping all the cooking attributes of coconut oil- such as a high smoke point. Butter burns at high temps because of the impurities, but when clarified the impurities are removed; so yeah, I’m excited about this stuff!
I could go on and on…and on, about CHFA West. There were so many people to see, and equally as many things to do and eat; and nothing beats a venue on the water in Vancouver. My appetite has certainly been whet for CHFA East; where I hope to work with Organika again. Next week will be back to regular programming!