NY Yoga & Raw Food Expo Highlights

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Last weekend, I attended the NY Yoga and Raw Food Expo at the Hotel New Yorker. The three-day expo featured panel discussions and lectures by many experts in the fields of raw foods and yoga, nutritionists, health practitioners, authors, and more. There were also free yoga classes throughout the weekend. I stopped by the event on Saturday to learn a bit more about the raw foods diet, discover some new food products, and grab a bite.

I attended the Raw Food Panel discussion in the morning. Experts Brenda Cobb, Viktorus Kulvinskas, Steve “sproutman” Meyerowitz, Debra Secunda, and Beckie Sheppard, answered questions on the topic of transitioning to a raw and living foods diet, detoxification, and share their insights and tips on how a raw diet can help restore health, increase energy and promote general well-being. Take a look at VeggieTasty‘s Twitter commentary.

I’ve always been a fan of pickled foods and fermented vegetables. They make great side dishes and accompaniments, and can bring healthy benefits too. Prior to the expo, I had been looking into pickling cucumbers, radishes, and reading about the process of making kim chi. I decided to check out Scott Grzybek‘s lecture on lacto-fermentation. Scott Grzybek is the founder of Zukay Live Foods, a natural food company promoting the health benefits of raw and fermented foods back through their line of food products, like salad dressings, salsas, and relishes. Scott demonstrated how to make homemade sauerkraut in a mason jar and discussed the health benefits of lacto-fermentation. VeggieTasty tweeted and took notes there too.

I had a great time exploring the exhibitors area. I always enjoy sampling foods and discovering new products – from protein bars and drink powders to chocolates and snacks. For lunch, I picked up the (smaller) platter from Kwatamani Divine Healing Cuisine, which featured a grand assortment of their raw foods creations. The food was delicious and so filling. There were veggies, sprouts, beans, nuts, and lots of energizing goodness. Okido Healthy Japanese Food and Brooklyn’s Rawstar Restaurant were also selling prepared foods. The food by Rawstar Restaurant looked amazing and I watched as they assembled the raw platters and pies. I can’t wait to stop by their restaurant in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn some time and try their vegan/raw food Caribbean cuisine.

Before I left, I picked up a sprouting starter kit from Sproutman, which came with a 100% natural hemp sprout bag, a bag of Sproutman’s organic salad mix seeds, and a ‘Turn the Dial’ sprout chart, a handy guide to growing and eating sprouts. I’ve heard about the advantages and ease of sprouting using a hemp bag. What appealed to me most was the simplicity and the convenience. It can grow many seeds (some easier than others), and only involves two steps – dip in watch and hang on something. It doesn’t take up much space, so I can just hang it over the sink. The sprout bag is durable, provides good circulation and prevents mold.

The other day, I decided to try out my new sprouting hemp bag and grow my first batch of sprouts. I boiled the hemp bag before use, as suggested. Instead of using the salad mix seeds, I scooped out 1/2 cup of adzuki beans I had in my pantry and decided to use them instead. I pre-soaked them in water overnight and transferred it into my hemp bag in the morning. After that, all I had to do was dip it in water every 12 hours for a couple of days. Exciting! Let the sprouting begin!

(Updated with link to my first batch of sprouted adzuki beans: here)

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