Vegetarian Food festival 2013

Ever wanted to go to a vegetarian food festival and wanted to ask people all about but were scared to ask? I never was, but i was curious about my sister Katrina taking one for the team and snooping around a festival I wouldn’t go near with a ten foot pole (I of course say this in jest, because vegetarians are a fun people). Here is my first ever guest post from my little sister, Katrina Middlebrook.

Every Year in September the Toronto Vegetarian Association holds a Vegetarian Food Festival.

This festival is held downtown in Toronto, Ontario on The Harbourfront.

My First time attending this huge festival was in 2010.  I was not a vegetarian.

I was hesitant on attending because I loved my chicken, but my best friend has been a vegetarian for 12+ years and I thought I should go to support her.

Walking in to the Festival I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Hi, Jordan here. Since I’m not writing the blog, I will comment on the photos. Here is Katrina getting her spine assessed. What does that have to do with vegetarians?

It was huge.  All sorts of people wearing shirts “Club soda, not seals” “Lettuce Turnip the Beet” I got a kick out of these.  People feel so strongly about not eating animals that they promote it!

Walking through the fair was eye opening. Animals really go through this? I won’t get into it.  At all.

The whole point of me writing this review about the Food festival is to get it out there that there are SO many business, restaurants & people that understand each and every one of our diets.

Dairy Free, nut free, Soy free, GLUTEN FREE.

I never really looked at the different options of food when I went to the food fair.  Everything was either vegan or vegetarian so I was safe to eat all.

This year was a whole different story.  I have been a “Flexatarian” (I eat seafood still) for 3 years now, Gluten Free for 1 month.  I have changed my diet because I am always sick.  Bloated, diareha, nauseas.  I made the change because for the last 5 years my doctor has suggested it.  “You have celiac Katrina, the tests are coming back negative because they sometimes do” “They may have not got a piece of the intestine that was bloated at the time”

I get it, took 5 years to click in.  SMARTEN UP!

I was nervous going in to this festival. Will they have food catered to me?  Should I just eat before I go?  I did, to be on the safe side.

My best friend, who is now a vegan, made me so confident going.  Of course she would know, she is the book of knowledge!

There was a ton of options for me here. I would have to say 75% of food served was Gluten Free.  Upon arriving, the only thing going through my head was getting me some vegan “Jerky” SO DELICIOUS (and gluten free).

My Friend walked around with me to see what my options were for food.  She kept saying she wanted Indian.  My mouth drooled right away.  BUT was it Gluten Free?  Of course we asked, and the answer we got “Everything is except the samosas” UH, YES PLEASE!

Hey, Jordan here. I’ve never been a fan of indian food. So, here is some indian food that Katrina ate.

I devoured that Indian food like I hadn’t ate in days!

I was so shocked with the options out there.  I was in heaven! If only I brought more money with me. They had so many treats.  I was upset, of course, to see that the “Sausages” they were serving were not Gluten Free as I would have loved to eat one.

As we wound down and parked our butts on the astro turf to enjoy some interactive dancing, live music and to take in the view, I reflected on my day with my best friend.  She supports me in so many decisions.  She helps me along in my dietary change, gives me advice.  She’s a Holistic Nutrionist with a ton of knowledge.  I was thankful that there are people around me with the same issues as me. People asking the same questions as me “Is this Gluten Free?”

Next time you’re out and you think you’re alone.  You’re not.  Look into groups you could join.  Facebook, Twitter & of course for any advice, problems, emotional support on this disease.

I’m here, you can even email me!

I’ll try to help you.

Keep Calm, eat healthy, keep a smile on your face.  You’re not the only one out there that suffers.

Pictures Provided by Janine at The Vital Vegan