My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned on this journey. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

I am doing something a little unusual in today’s blog. I am doing a review. I am actually excited by this because I was ASKED to visit the show and review it as a blogger, and from the point of view of my blog, namely the weight loss journey.

For those who haven’t heard of it, The Wellness Show takes place in Vancouver BC every year at the Trade and Convention Centre. It usually happens in February or March, and this year was the 23rd year so it has been around a while. It was at this Wellness Show a number of years ago I found out I was diabetic through a health screening they were doing.

I went 2 of the 3 days of the show and want to give some of my personal highlights. On this weight loss journey, I have tried to make use of all the resources I can and at the Wellness Show you are to find a lot under one roof. I was able to get a 20 minute free session with a nutritionist. Incidentally she told me I was pretty much on track, and gave me a few fine tuning tips for my eating plan. It is these kind of tools that make the weight loss journey easier.

For a reasonable fee to attend, you can get a consultation with chiropractors, massages, reflexology treatments and many more. Given the limited time and the amount of people all wanting to take advantage of these helps, you get a “taste test” as it were but certainly enough to let you decide if you want to pursue further treatment. You get to see and try and buy all kinds of healthy foods and other goodies.

There were interesting lectures to see on a number of topics, though I do admit a lot of them were a bit too “new age” for my taste but hey – to each his own right? One thing I did find interesting is that they have one lecture area specifically for topics relating to women’s health and then I thought “How come no lectures on specifically men’s health?” Then I looked around and realized women out numbered men at the show about 10 to 1. Apparently men don’t “get it” in terms of their overall health, not just their weight.

There were a lot of interesting fitness demos, from Qi Gong, to Pole Walking, Yoga, Gymnastics clubs, Zumba and more.

There were healthy cooking demonstrations and tastings, as well as a favourite of mine – the cheese tasting workshop! I am a big cheese fan. The most interesting part of all to me was walking around the booths. There was a ton of great information.

As soon as you walk in, they hand you a swag bag with all kinds of goodies, and believe me you will need the bag. Odds are you pick up a few more as you go around because you will come away with lots of freebies as well as great stuff to buy. It can be very overwhelming so I always recommend starting at one side and do each aisle up one side and then down the other. If you start criss crossing, you miss things. A word of warning though – some of the booth staff are as aggressive as pitchmen at your local fair. You just have to remain focused and if you feel people are too pushy, just politely move on. I only had to tell one pitch-person to back off. They are all their to sell their wares and I get that but some are a little aggressive is all.

One of the big sponsors in Nestor’s Markets which I found out also owns Buy Low. Those in the Lower Mainland of BC will know those names. They were giving away full boxes of healthy cereals, and I mean multiples. They had assorted flavours and wanted you to take home a full box of each flavour, as well as healthy fruit bars, teas, a large selection of gluten free products and much much more. Some found it a bit odd, but you couldn’t buy the products there. They just suggested you go to Nestor’s or Buy Low to actually purchase.

One product innovation I was excited to hear about came from Adam’s Natural Peanut Butter. I like Adam’s because all it says on the ingredient list is Peanuts. When I buy it, I have always stored it upside down so the natural oil makes it way to the bottom and doesn’t spill over when you open it. They are making a new jar effective with the lid on the bottom to make this process even easier. Commercial peanut butters often have added oil, salt and an amazing amount of sugar.

There was a booth from the Pear Growers Association giving out samples of different types of pears. There was another booth giving out shopping bags with ambrosia apples (a personal favourite of mine). There were healthy snacks. There were tea and coffee companies. There were cookware companies. There were fitness equipment companies and gyms. It was absolutely amazing.

Anything you could want to find out about healthy living and eating, it was there. People answered questions and demonstrated. They gave you tons of information to take away with you as well.

donor registryAs the fair covers all aspects of wellness – physical as well as mental and even spiritual – there some booths that even spoke to things like addictions and treatment, and a booth encouraging people to become organ donors. They told me that only 18% of eligible people in BC are organ donors. I had a sticker on my health card, and so they looked me up on line and I found I have been an organ donor since 2006. Are you registered? You can go on line and find out at http://www.transplant.bc.ca/.

The photo is me with a couple of the nice ladies at the booth.

If you are thinking of a career in health, there is lots of information on that too. There are nutrition schools, counselling schools, “life coach” schools and more. There are also tons of books for sale on all aspects of your health.

I will mention one downside, at least to me. There are quite a few booths of some stuff that I just looked at and shook my head. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to offend anyone who uses some of these “out there” techniques, especially if it works for them. My bigger concern was in the midst of this information on how to live a healthier life, there were also booths promoting and selling what I call pills, potions, shakes and shortcuts. Folks I have said this before but they don’t exist. The way to true and long lasting weight loss is eat less and move more. It’s pretty simple.quote-bruce-lee

The Wellness Show is a great investment in your health. Take the time when it rolls around next year and go with an open mind. Bruce Lee was quoted once as saying “Absorb what is useful, disgard what is not.” He was talking martial arts, but I would say approach the show the same way. Listen and learn, and if you think it will help you, then act on it. If you look at something and say “That’s not for me” that’s ok. It might be for someone else.

Every year that I go, I learn new things, try new foods, get great tips and advice and it all helps me along this weight loss journey.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

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