Everyone gets excited at a certain time of year – be it Christmas, the first day of Summer, Halloween, or some other occasion. But for me, one of my favourite times of the year is in November, when the Whole Life Expo comes to town. After all, I’m a holistic nutritionist, so this event is like a chocolate brownie, with chocolate sauce and chocolate chunks to a choco-holic (can you tell that I also love chocolate)!
There are so many events, speakers, showcases and exhibitors – it is the largest natural health and green living event in Canada, did I mention? Hosting it’s 32nd year, the expo is being held on November 9th, 10th and 11th, conveniently located in downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Front Street (just beside the CN Tower). With all the samplings, freebies, chances to buy amazing products and the education you’ll get, the admission price at $15 in advance/$17 at the door for an all-weekend pass, is a steal.
So I wanted to highlight a few of my favourite things to check out at the show – though there are new exhibitors and speakers every year, so this list is subject to regular and frequent change (mostly additions though, cause I know there are gonna be some really great new ones that I will surely love). Now, there are over 200 exhibits featuring the latest in natural health and green living products, services and research – but here are a few of my top choices!
Lend Me Your Ears…. and Eyes, and Tummies!
The speakers are always a highlight and worth the admission alone. Imagine going to an event where you can hear 20+ speakers who are experts in their field. Wanna talk chakras? Wanna hear about pain management? Wanna learn about yoga or Traditional Chinese Medicine? These are just a few of the many topics which will be covered at the show. Two amazing practitioners who have inspired me throughout my career are speakers this year, so I must give them their props.
Joy McCarthy, CNP, is a friend, a mentor and an inspirational leader in the field of digestion, food and the infamous “microbiome”. What is that, you may ask? Oh, just a little army of microorganisms in our body and specifically in the gut, that affects how we feel, how we digest and how healthy we are overall. It’s otherwise known as the key to a healthy gut, and supported by so many different factors. Catch Joy’s EAT WELL, LIVE WELL, FEEL JOYOUS lecture from 12pm-1pm in Lecture Hall 202 on Saturday November 10th. *NOTE: You will see me there!
I also recommend catching Sarah Kraftchuk, RHN, who will teach you about meditation and conscious consumption. One can never get enough help with breathing and relaxation – which is one of the keys to a healthy and happy mind and body. Sarah’s CONSCIOUS BREATHING AND MINDFULNESS MEDITATION lecture will be held on Sunday November 11th from 11:45am-12:45pm, also in Lecture Hall 202.
Julie Daniluk, RHN, is an overall lovely human, a best selling author and anti-inflammatory expert. In her talk, she’ll teach you how to change your “food attitude” with anti-inflammatory superfoods. BREAK THROUGH PAIN AND CREATE LONGEVITY WITH NUTRITION HACKS, can be heard from 3:30pm-4:30pm in Lecture Hall 202 on Saturday, November 10th. Seeing a trend here? Well, as you know, I’m a nutritionist and I too have suffered from digestive issues, so it’s no coincidence that I’m a follower of experts like Julie who can truly help to make a difference.
Now That’s a Burger!
I freakin’ love food – did I mention that? I have an 80-20 rule, so when someone offers me a healthy burger, I’m IN! In the last few years, food trucks have become all the rage and I’m always up for a line that leads to filling my face! The Portobello Burger offers vegetarian and vegan food for people on the go, and will even bring their truck to your event. Jennifer Carilla and her husband (self proclaimed junk food experts) will appeal to your 80% and your 20% at the same time. The Portobello Burger changes their menu often, but your mouth will always water at the delicious options this local favourite company offers.
Did Someone Say Chocolate?
Of course, I will visit every exhibitor who offers chocolate. Did I even need to even tell you that? But real chocolate – that is my weakness. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m also the choco-holic mentioned above. But 100% pure dark Madagascar chocolate, offered by Chocolate Hackers, that is the real deal. Their mission is “to redefine the standards of exceptional chocolate…. without any sugar, artificial flavour or sweetener.” See they know that chocolate, when made with 100% cacao beans, is at its original best. Founded by two Parisians with a goal of improving their health in the wild lands of Canada, they are “building the chocolate hackers community” one table at a time. You will also see me hanging out around there throughout the weekend, stuffing my face hole.
Where Everyone Who is Anyone Goes to Buy Organic
So, it’s no surprise that I’m including Healthy Planet in my list of go-to exhibits. In fact, they have an entire Pavillion at the Expo, due to their exceptional reputation and huge range of quality products. Yes, of course every holistic nutritionist and organic Goddess hangs out at Healthy Planet, but did you know that they started as a small store in a strip mall in Toronto’s Greektown? Did you know that they offer free seminars and clinics to customers? Did you also know that this is where naturopathic doctors and holistic nutritionists (like moi) actually shop? Their mission is to make the world healthier and greener, one day at a time. Count me in!
Supplements and Products and Benefits, Oh My!
Ketogenic diets are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Now I’m not saying that everyone should do this, but there are a lot of great benefits for those to whom this diet suits. If you’re not loving some of the aspects, including the keto flu and detox symptoms that it can bring on, this product might be a good option for you. I’ve used it with many clients before, under the supervision of an amazing practitioner who truly knows her stuff, and we have seen incredible results. Prüvit has exogenous ketone products that help to put your body into temporary ketosis for short periods of time. They’re pure therapeutic ketones – which can help with better energy, focus, and mood as well as more effective fat burning. Head on over to the booth to check them out, try out their product and ask a little more about this science and evidence-based product! Hey – I’m just a fan after using it for a while, they’re not paying me a dime to say any of this.
Let’s Get Physical
Thanks to Olivia Newton-John, we are a society of yoga pants and sneakers. Ok, maybe she didn’t start the movement, but we all agree that our bodies need to move in order to heal! SAT DHARAM KAUR, ND offers visitors a chance to get in touch with our inner yogi and learn about Kundalini yoga, fused with naturopathic medicine and environmental sustainability. Kundalini yoga “develops the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fitness required to navigate the deep and challenging waters of the 21st century.” Now whether you visit Sat Dharam Kaur, or prefer to see an energy practitioner who uses crystals like Rosa Milando or you prefer acupressure with a South Korean healing modality that harnesses the power of your own “human energy”, keep your “beautiful mind” (Jung Shim in English) and body open to new experiences.
Ok, I’m exhausted. How to take this three day existential experience and fit my favourites down to just a few is so challenging. Every year, I learn more and more about nutrition, alternative therapies, life skills, food and digestion and still I crave more. I hope to see you at the 32nd Whole Life Expo and, of course, I’m always available to chat about anything that interests you, so make sure to say hi if you see me! I’ll be the one grinning from ear-to-ear with chocolate on my face.
Please note that this is a sponsored post. All photos provided are by respective accounts.