Last month I was incredibly fortunate. Not only was I lucky enough to receive an invitation to attend The Wellness Show 2015, but I also had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with The Green Mama herself, the incredible Manda Aufochs Gillespie, about green makeup and beauty products.
I am a total newbie when it comes to the realm of green personal care products, but after a super fun and informative conversation with Manda (which you can read all about here) I felt ready to hit the show with my newfound (and slightly disturbing) knowledge surrounding the potentially harmful effects of the coal tar, heavy metals and hidden perfumes that are quietly lurking in so many of the products that I liberally slather across my face on a daily basis.
Hemp Seed and Smoothies and Chia…Oh My!
After registering at the show and pinning on my “media” badge I decided to make a quick first pass through the aisles in order to get my bearings, and one of the first things I noticed was the expansive amount of food and food related products that were available to sample and purchase. At every corner there was a vendor dishing out, mixing up, or pouring out some type of unique and healthful concoction that I was more than willing to try.
I have to say that the majority of the things I sampled were absolutely amazeballs (including, but not limited to, the items pictured below), and there were actually only a handful of edibles that proved to be a wee bit to the left of my comfort zone. All in all, in my opinion it would be difficult to leave The Wellness Show hungry even if one were to simply stick to sampling some of the more traditional fare being offered up by the very generous vendors.
Keeping Beautiful, Naturally
After getting my bearings (and a bellyful of healthful and delicious snacks) I decided it was time to channel all of the extremely useful (and slightly scary) stuff that I learned from Manda the week before and start exploring some of the booths that were displaying gorgeous assortments of natural skin care and personal health products.
As I wandered through the show and chatted with the vendors about their product lines I began to realize that navigating the world of natural skin care is pretty much the same as making your way through its mainstream counterpart. One simply needs to begin by assessing their own skin type and individual needs, move on to doing research on lines offering products directed at those needs, and then simply dive in and try out those products to see which ones best suit their individual skin type.
It appears that there is no shortage of high quality options when it comes to green skin care products, and while I did not leave the show with any personal frontrunners in mind there was one personal care item that I absolutely fell in love with on the spot and have since been talking about non-stop to anyone who will listen.
For the past several years I have been in a conundrum, as while I am more than convinced that commercial deodorants and antiperspirants contain ingredients that I should not be putting on my skin, any alternatives that I have tried have come up woefully short (a situation which is no doubt exacerbated by the fact that I possess a near phobic level of fear when it comes to the emission of body odour).
That is to say, all of the alternatives have come up short, until now.
What can I say? This stuff is da bomb! Made with pure, all natural ingredients Dom’s Deodorant will not stop you from sweating (something that the product’s promotional material points out is one of our body’s natural cooling and detox mechanisms), but this mixture of pure, unrefined baking soda, certified organic cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, natural arrowroot powder, and beautifully scented essential oils (I chose the lavender and rosemary blend) will keep you feeling and smelling fresh, even while actually engaging in sweaty, athletic-type stuff!
I have to admit I did exercise a bit of caution after purchasing this product and in the beginning set out to use it in only in careful stages. Day one was a day of mainly working from home with a few light errands. After that went well (i.e. stink free), days two to five saw me out and about, amongst people, doing mild levels of activity and still smelling fantastic. Then along came day six where I completed my regular 30-ish km bike route, on a pretty warm day, in a long sleeved shirt. And you know what? It really, really worked!
Made locally on beautiful Saltspring Island this incredible product was by far my favorite find of the day, and I am sure to be a repeat customer.
After spending a large part of the day chatting with folks about their products, noshing on delicious eats, and taking pictures of so many gorgeous displays I decided to wind up my adventure by taking advantage of a few of the personal services that were being offered on site.
The first thing I indulged in was a 20 minute session with 2 practitioners from Vancouver Pranic Healing. I knew very little (read absolutely nothing) about the practice of Pranic Healing going into this, but I have to say that it was an interesting and enlightening experience.
Before they began I was asked about any specific ailments that I would like them to target during the session and was then directed to sit on a chair with my feet flat on the floor, palms facing upwards, and the tip of my tongue touching the roof of my mouth. For the duration of the treatment one healer stood in front of me and one behind, both appearing to pull something (illness?? energy?? general bad mojo??) from my body, and direct it to a bowl of water on the floor.
At no time during the treatment did the healers actually touch me, but towards the end one did stop his pulling motions and asked if he could say a healing prayer with me. While I am typically not a praying type of gal I did want to benefit from the full experience so I agreed to letting the healer do his thing.
Now I have to admit that the prayer he recited was frighteningly specific, so after the treatment was over I asked him if he recited the same prayer with everyone or if there were different prayers in his roster that he busted out based on what he was feeling from the individual client. Basically he confirmed the latter and said that he felt that I very much needed the specific prayer that he recited. Gulp. Heard and noted Pranic Healer dude, heard and noted.
Lastly, I visited the students staffing the booth for Langara’s Registered Massage Therapy Certificate Program and for a nominal donation received a mind melting 20 minute chair massage from a very professional and delightful young man who is a student in the program.
During my time at the Langara booth I also learned that school runs a student clinic that offers 60 minute massages for only $40.00 at select times and days throughout each term. Their website contains all the information you need to know, including their current schedule, and I have to say that based on my experience I plan to make myself a full length appointment at the student clinic ASAP.
As my day came to and end I sadly realized that I had been so caught up in my adventures on the trade show floor that I neglected to take in any of the speakers that day. While I was super disappointed, it was a lesson well learned that I will simply have to ensure that I schedule in more than one day for visiting the show in 2016.
If you missed The Wellness Show this time around I definitely suggest you mark your calendar for next year. The Wellness Show 2016 will once again be held at the Vancouver Convention Center and will take place on February 12, 13 and 14.
In the mean time you can follow The Wellness Show on both Twitter and Facebook where they post links to health and wellness articles, recipes, and other general awesomeness throughout the entire year.
Also be sure to check out Manda Aufochs Gillespie’s book, Giving Your Child a Healthy Start and a Greener Future, and be sure to also follow her on both Twitter and Facebook.
Did you attend The Wellness Show 2015? What were your favorite experiences? Let me know in the comments box down below!