Eat Vancouver is a celebration of cooking and eating and food culture that happens at BC Place Stadium every year. It is an event I attend every year but this year I saw it through new eyes. There were a lot of changes this year that seemed to reflect a lot of the changes in the food culture and a lot of them were very positive.
Among some of the changes I saw were a bigger emphasis on healthy eating and sustainable food practices. A personal plus was that I noticed a lot more tea vendors. I can’t drink coffee (I am actually allergic to it) but have become something of a tea connoisseur.
I know a lot of teas have medicinal benefits, but even more important than that is that curling up with a good cup of tea and a book is one of my favourite things in life. It is one of my biggest stress reducers and that is a good thing because stress is one of my biggest eating triggers.
One of my favourite snacks is small amounts of a good quality cheese. Not just your usual cheddar but some flavourful choices. As I tell people, if you are going to indulge in something, make it something you really enjoy and that you can savour. There were cheese demonstrations to show you what cheese goes well with what, and who produces them etc. There were a lot of what are called Artisan Cheesemakers on display, and of course this was followed by tastings. My wife and I did discover some cheeses we like and splurged and bought a few different types.
There were quite a few companies selling hummus. I love hummus and often make my own, but again, got to try some new varieties. Hummus is a good healthy snack, especially when paired with some vegetables like carrots or celery sticks. Our favourites were from a company called Sabra. You can find them at http://www.sabra.com but the best way is to find them in your local grocer. We bought some hummus and some really good peach mango salsa.
Here is another way you can reduce calories on an old favourite like a baked potato. Don’t use sour cream and butter. Put some salsa on the potato. The calories are in the toppings more than in the potato itself.
In the past, this show has featured cooking demonstrations with a lot of gourmet but often unhealthy choices. This year, at least during the time we were there, was much different.
They seemed to be following the new food trends in that people are trying to eat healthier, with more of a connection where their food comes from. I spoke to people selling sustainable seafood, and groups that really made you think about where your eggs come from, fair trade goods and local farming.
There was a booth selling these amazing little tomatoes in assorted colours in a basket at 2 for $5 so we bought two. Perfect for healthy snacking.
We picked up tons of coupons for the products we tried and got lots of recipes I can’t wait to try.
One section I found really fascinating was about food traveling. That is you traveling to places to try their food. We tried pancakes from the Yukon with Maple Birch Syrup, but also spoke to people promoting China and India and got some wonderful cook books from them. There was also folks representing Lousiana, and were promoting their style of cajun cooking.
It is a good thing that according to my fitbit I did 11,000 steps that day because we left there stuffed, and these were just on small samples.
You could buy sampling tickets to try bigger tastes from the vendors, but we made out fine and hardly spent anything.
So why did I include this in a blog about weight loss? Simple. It was an event that introduced me to new companies selling healthy foods. Sometimes we get into food ruts, eating the same old thing. Albert Einstein is credited with saying “The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
We keep eating the foods we have become comfortable with but often those comfort foods are part of the reason we can’t lose the weight.
If an event like this comes to your area – go. You will learn so much it will be amazing. I am still reading through all the information I brought home. Open yourself up to new foods. Break your eating rut.
If you don’t have an event like this, go to your local farmers market or even right to the farms themselves. Talk to the folks who produce your food and you will have a much better idea what’s in it.
Just because you are watching what you eat, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat good food. In fact you should eat more good foods and not fill up on the stuff that is making you fat and unhealthy.
Approach your food choices with an open mind and you will help yourself in the long run.
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.
p.s. There are a couple of new things on the sidebar to the right. I now have links to my website Get Healthy with Bacon where you will find information on my Motivational speaking and Weight Loss Coaching. There is a link to sign up for my newsletter, and there are some links to other bloggers that I like to follow.