A couple weekends ago, I headed down to Canada Place for the 19th Annual Health and Wellness Show here in Vancouver for an afternoon of fun and frolic.

It was a trade show for the wellbeing crowd, full of food samples, alternative therapies, workshops, and demonstrations.

Not knowing what to expect, I was excited to have a look around, catch a couple of presentations and just enjoy a Saturday afternoon out of the house. I caught a lecture on raw foods, and a second one that I really enjoyed on the subject of Pranic (or energy) healing.

My friend and I also spent a good chunk of time wandering around to all the stalls, admittedly pigging out on the free food samples with reckless abandon. I was trying my best not to feel guilty about it and just enjoy my big day out.

Well why would I feel guilty about it anyway? Isn’t it health food?

You’d think so, but no. Not most of it anyway.

For example, when my friend and I showed up, we were immediately handed a “goody” bag full of complimentary, well… goodies. Do you think any of it was truly healthy? NO!

Amongst others, it contained a bag of Old Dutch potato chips, some “heart healthy” chocolate cookies, organic (but still pasteurized) milk, Caesar salad mix full of disgusting vegetable oils and other ingredients, and a ‘natural’ can of cola.

Come on. Really? You expect me to believe this stuff is healthy?

The stalls weren’t much better, with all sorts of breads, cheeses, sugary juice drinks, microwave breakfasts, and chocolate power bars. The items may have had some added vitamins, or perhaps they lacked gluten, or maybe they were organic and whole grain and baked with love. But that didn’t stop most of them from being full of sugar and other additives.

This is the story with most packaged ‘health food’ items. They know people are either gullible or are looking for a way to eat junk and not feel guilty about it.

So don’t just look at the label that says ‘Made with real fruit!’ or ‘25% less sodium’ and assume that an item is healthy and that you have a lease to chow down.

Always remember that the healthiest foods are real, whole foods that look like they did when they came from nature. 

Most things that come in a box don’t.

If you want to indulge in some packaged ‘health’ foods, or basically anything in a can or jar, that’s okay every once in a while. Just don’t go expecting that chocolate power bar with 10X the antioxidants but 30 grams of sugar to clear your acne if you eat it for breakfast every day. Make sure you read labels. You want the shortest amount of ingredients possible, and you want to be able to pronounce them all. And if sugar is the second ingredient on the list, place it back on the shelf and walk away.

Use your common sense and that big ol brain of yours. That’s all I ask. The end 🙂

photo by sardinista