21230912_10155830679126564_3784113278662208686_nGiven that I am now on a mission to prevent the return of my breast cancer and ensure disease never reaches the body of my daughter (and anyone else that will listen), I was more than happy to accept my friend Petra Foster’s invitation to The Thrive Urban Food Festival. The event took place at The Bond which is a canal side, hip and trendy events venue in Birmingham, UK on 3rd September 2017.

The event’s copy promised: a courtyard streetfood market, a market hall, fitness sessions, wellness classes, high profile speakers and panel sessions throughout the day. It certainly delivered upon it’s promise and the fact that it was family friendly was a major selling feature for me.

Personal highlights include: the live cookery demonstration from blogger Niki from Rebel Recipes. She made a Cauliflower and Peas Stew with a  coconut chutney. Of course, we got the opportunity to taste the results of her labour; it was very flavoursome -especially the coconut chutney. It’s the type of dish I would make on a cold autumn evening. Vegan comfort food.

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Mindfulness for Children was a session run by Meraki Workshops. On arrival younger children were encouraged to colour in sheets which encouraged mindfulness and self- awareness. At age 4, my daughter was a little too young to understand the concept of the brain and its functions (although they were beautifully described). However, I loved watching how engrossed the other children were as they created their glitter jars, shook them and watched the particles settle like the thoughts in their mind when they indulge in moments of stillness. 

By far my favourite aspect of the day were the talks. Particularly that of Nutritional Therapist & Health Concierge Daniela Lawler. She led a session on children and nutrition. It was packed full of information that could serve people of all ages such as: The fact that many people in this country (and especially those with darker skins), lack Vitamin D. This prevents the body from absorbing calcium. Without it, we are susceptible to a wide range of health difficulties including: diseases, cognitive impairment and asthma. It got me thinking about it being a possible cause of my cancer.

Also, Potassium Sorbate, Anthocyanins, citric acid, acesulfame and sucralose are all on the label of the popular children’s drink: Fruit Shoot and they are also E numbers. She stated that manufacturers have gotten around the loophole of having the list any E numbers by calling them by their other chemical names. Shocking! 

She packed so much information into the session that there wasn’t time remaining at the end for questions (though she spoke to individuals outside afterwards). I honestly did not mind though, as I thought the knowledge she shared was  valuable and eye-opening. If I wanted to know more, I could do as she suggested and the research documents she would send for being a new member of her mailing list. 

Other smaller (but just as significant) features of the day were: being convinced that I could eat and like pecan nuts by the charming gentleman of True North. I tasted the Almond Pecan Crunch and consequently brought a pack. 

Cakes & Ish sold a mouth-drooling mushroom curried pattie. I had to track them down on Facebook to find out where I could buy more.

The £10 (worth £20) goody bag sold by Thrive was well worth money. It was a great way to try a load of new and exciting P1020832snacks, teas and other nutritionally kind products without having to rob the bank to do so. As, I have to be frank and say that I found some of the prices in the market hall substantially higher than I felt necessary. The Salted Caramel Coconut Peaks by Inspirational and the Maple and Cinnamon Roll protein balls by DC Wholefoods were delectable and very energising! I will be buying more! 

So well done Thrive Festival, you have found yourself a repeat customer. I look forward to the next event!