Favourite Food Finds at Thrive Festival
This September I went along to Birmingham’s Eat. Move. Thrive. Festival, a one-day urban wellbeing and food event. In this post, I share with you a few of my learning points and my favourite food finds!
The festival brought together experts, influencers and enthusiasts in the wellness sphere, along with foodie entrepreneurs from the local area and further afield. The weather may have been a little dreary on the day, but the vibe was anything but! The venue was full of people with lots of enthusiasm and passion for healthy eating, fitness and wellbeing.
Through the day there were opportunities to attend speaker sessions, join in some fitness taster classes, enjoy some healthy street food, chat to the stall holders and sample their products, and buy some exciting foods from the wellness market. It was a health-foodies heaven!
Healthy Eating 1,2,3
I attended a speaker session with Dr Rupy, an NHS doctor and author of the blog The Doctors Kitchen. Rupy on his blog states that he believes food is the most important health intervention anyone can make. In his talk, he covered briefly a number of topics that he believes are important if we want to thrive including sleep, exercise, mindfulness, connecting with others, and of course food! He said he believes healthy eating comes back to three basic principles: 1) Eating colourful 2) Eating more fibre and 3) Eating plant-focussed. I like this straight forward approach and it’s certainly something I try to adopt when choosing and preparing food.
A standout theme for me, within the broader topic of healthy eating, was gut health. The basic principle is that if you take care of your digestive system (your gut), the rest of your body will be healthier. I came across various fermented items at the festival such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kefir water and kombucha, and talked to the makers about how they aided gut health. I can’t explain all the science myself, but I can understand from what I’ve learnt how gut health is important and the foods I’ve tried in this category have been tasty.
I was pleased to discover at the event a whole array of interesting, nutritious and tasty foods, many of which I hadn’t come across before. Here are my favourite finds:
Soul Fuel Smoothie Bowls
Soul Fuel offers beautifully presented smoothie bowls, filled with a variety of fresh fruit, veggies and nuts. These offer a great dose of nutrients and antioxidants. Where possible they use organic ingredients and all their creations are free of sugar, dairy and gluten.
KIN Nutrition Protein Powder
I’ve found that a lot of protein powders contain dairy in the form of whey protein (milk). Whilst KIN Nutrition do offer a whey protein containing mix, I’ve included them because I was delighted to see they also have a vegan protein powder called ‘OMG! No Whey.’ With a base of pea and hemp protein, the powder comes in four flavours: dark chocolate, coconut, blueberry and vanilla. It is the most expensive item on my list, but protein powders do tend to be quite pricey and I was pleased to find a tasty, non-dairy variety!
Barrel & Bone Sauerkraut
I was really pleased to see Midlands based company Barrel & Bone had a stall at the Thrive market, having recently enjoyed their vegan kimchi that I picked it up from a health food store. They had their whole range of fermented products on their stall to try. Being a lover of chilli containing foods, I left with a large jar of their chipotle sauerkraft (fermented cabbage). It has a great smokey-chilli kick and lots of flavour. I think it’s a good accompaniment for many foods, but it’s so delicious I keep eating it out of the jar!
Purearth Kefir Water
Continuing on the gut health theme, another product I enjoyed trying was Water Kefir made by health cleanse focused company Purearth. A refreshing, naturally-fermented drink containing living probiotics, their water kefir is a modern take on the ancient milk based kefir drink. Again, it was great to see a dairy-free option. It comes in a variety of flavours and although I couldn’t quite get my head around drinking the blue-coloured option containing spirulina (just because it’s blue!), the fruity ones were great.
Taiki Tea Organic Matcha
Matcha tea has been around for centuries. Supercharged with nutrients it’s recognised like all green teas as having health benefits. Taiki Tea aim to share matcha with a wider audience. Since I discovered matcha last year myself after reading about its nutritional benefits, I’ve noticed it on offer in quite a number of cafes and in health food stores, as well as the occasional supermarket. Good quality matcha powder is still not widely available though so I was pleased to find this as the Thrive market. I tasted Taiki Tea’s matcha with hot water and also with almond milk (latte style) and have to say it was delicious. What I also loved about their offering was their beautiful gift boxes, which each include pretty, handmade ceramic bowls for enjoying the matcha tea.
Onist Avocado Chocolate Pot
If you’re an avocado fan like me, I think you’re going to love this one! The Onist Avocado chocolate pots are all made of avocados, dates, cashew nuts, cocoa powder, mineral water and natural flavourings. Their ingredients are organically sourced, Fair Trade accredited, vegan and gluten free, with no added sugars. The company also supports a charity called Pandys in Gambia and for every pot they sell, they buy a healthy breakfast for a child in need.
p.s. If you haven’t discovered the joy of avocado I encourage you to do so! It’s so good for you, containing 20 different vitamins and minerals and healthy fats. Avocado its also super versatile, great in a salad, wrap, or sandwich, mashed as a dip, blended into juices or smoothies, in cakes (particularly chocolate ones), and also great simply enjoyed on its own with a little pepper! Just remove and discard the stone in the centre, then scoop out the green flesh and throw the skin.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the festival. Maybe I’ve inspired you to think more about the food choices you make and to try some new foods? I haven’t been paid by any of the above brands to promote their products, I just generally enjoyed them and given my excitement about new foods wanted to share!
If you have found some great healthy foods recently, do please share your favourite finds in the comments at the end of the page!