The Hidden Treasures at the Total Health Show

We approached the Total Health Show this past weekend with a bit of trepidation. Although it’s a well-respected event, now in its 30th year, and despite the focus organizers put on the more credible aspects of its participants, featuring things like massage and natural foods, there’s still an element to the world of holistic health that provokes me to peruse the schedule for the tinfoil hat fashion show.

We went with the intention of checking out the food vendors, since people are finally cluing in to the fact that good health is directly related to good nutrition, but were consumed with the fear that we’d get roped into trying some bio-feedback aura testing or buying the $30 bottles of magical juice that purports to cure everything from halitosis to cancer.

There were some of those folks there, to be sure, and we tried to keep our cynical comments to ourselves, but we were actually very pleasantly surprised to find a great number of vendors with really interesting, and tasty, products.

Here are a few that caught our eye:

  • Tea2Gather offers a large variety of speciality teas as well as pots and accessories, including those really cool “blooming” teas (pictured above).
  • A taste of Nova Scotia in the form of Van Dyk’s wild blueberry juice. High in anti-oxidants, blueberries are considered one of the ten superfoods that should be part of everybody’s diet. All I know is that Nova Scotia blueberries taste like nothing else in this world – I could guzzle this stuff like water.
  • Chèvre Lane is the brand of milk and chocolate milk marketed by the Ontario Dairy Goat Cooperative as an alternative to cow’s milk.
  • The awesomely tasty and delicious products from ShaSha Bread Co, who offer not just bread but probably the best ginger snap cookies in the city. I’m completely addicted, and at about 10 calories each, they’re healthier than jellybeans.
  • Ruth’s Hemp Foods require no introduction to anyone who frequents health food stores. Their selection of oils, bars and hemp powders are extremely popular.
  • The beautiful breads and strudel (pictured at right) at Stickling’s Specialty Bakery.
  • We loved the variety of cool products and the laid-back attitude of the folks at Nujima Living Foods. Yeah, there were goji berries, but no one tried to convince us they cure cancer – and they’re actually really tasty!
  • The Sunza crackers at Terra Tree Foods, where they were making mini raw pizzas on what turned out to be very tasty raw crackers that come in a beautiful array of colours and flavours.
  • Hearty Catering offers tasty and delicious raw, vegan meals for all occasions. We were tempted by the many dishes they had on offer.
  • And who can resist the tasty treats from New Moon Kitchen? Their baked goods are available at health food stores across the province.
  • For the meat-eaters who ventured into this mecca of vegetarian and raw foods, Beaver Vale Farms offers grass-fed beef, complete with a demo of fat rendered from cooking.
  • Yummy grub from Camros Organic Eatery, a little restaurant tucked in on Hayden Street. Must check this out further!

So despite our concern, there really was a little something for not just vegans and raw foodists, but folks who ate meat and dairy as well. With lots of new and interesting products, the Total Health Show turned out to be both delicious and enlightening.