Since I missed last year’s GoodRoots festival, I’ve been pretty excited about being able to make this year’s offering, which was held in a pretty chic and hip dis-used warehouse type location in Dalston, London. It also quite aptly coincided with me being nearly half way through my 8-week no sugar challenge and gave me more inspiration and encouragement for avoiding the white stuff. The third week of the challenge has been the hardest so far for avoiding sugar and it’s really helping me to realise that not all sugar can be avoided.
What is the GoodRoots Festival?
The GoodRoots festival is a celebration of wholesome, sustainable and healthy products, ranging from food, clothing, beauty products and books. It’s run by the guys who created Fare Healthy (a similar but bigger event, next one to be held in February) and has the huge aim of making ‘wellness’ accessible to all. The theme is very much along the lines of street food, with various different healthy food stalls weaved in and out of the quirky location. This years foodie contribution included (to name a few!): The Mae Deli, 26 Grains, Happy Maki and Livia’s Kitchen. There were also a number of ‘raw’ confectionary type stands selling different varieties of non-refined/processed chocolates including Raw Halo and Pana Chocolate.
Peter and I had the most delicious vegan freshly rolled sushi wrap from Happy Maki and which had roasted sweet potato, avocado slices, red pepper, cucumber and teriyaki sauce (probably not all that great for my no sugar challenge), all wrapped up in sticky rice and seaweed – all for £7 and which kept me satisfied for a trip into Oxford Street! I’ve since read about the philosophy of Happy Maki and it’s great to find a ‘fast-food’ stall which combines healthy eating with the aim of raising awareness of the unsustainable practices across the fishing industry.
Due to my no-sugar challenge and still being in the stage of not eating fruit etc., I didn’t really go all out with the food tasting and so I was so pleased to see that there was much more than just food. In fact, there were a few natural beauty and clothing stalls dotted about the place, mostly having the organic / vegan-friendly tag. Two of the stalls, I just couldn’t walk away from and as a result, I treated myself to a funky organic T-Shirt from ConsciousTee who aim to inspire environmentalism, veganism and a healthier way of living, and a cute bracelet from Mantraband, who were being sold by Content – Organic Beauty. I bought the bracelet as a mindfulness-inspiring replacement for the beautiful butterfly bangle I lost last year in the New Forest, which was my first Christmas present from Peter.
Not Just Food and Beauty!
In the run up to the festival, I knew that there would be the chance (at a higher ticket price) to attend a number of talks given by the ‘celebrities’ of the healthy eating world, including from Deliciously Ella, the Hemsley sisters and Green Kitchen Stories – but due to my stinginess, I just bought the standard £10 general admissions ticket and so I didn’t expect to hear any talks…
…which meant that I was pleasantly surprised when I realised that there was a ‘hub’ area with a good range of free half hour talks all through the day from big names, including Madeleine Shaw, Calgary Avansino and Rosemary Ferguson. Peter and I caught about 4 of these talks but a couple of them were pretty difficult to hear due to a mix of sound difficulties and the general loudness of the background noise! Anyway, one talk which was so aptly timed for me was Calgary’s, where she explained (using sugar props) how huge our sugar problem is becoming and ways in which we can make a conscious effort of trying to minimise the amount of sugar (glucose and fructose) that we consume. Her message was heard loud and clear by showing us real life quantities of refined sugar that goes into normal everyday commodities such as ‘healthy’ yoghurts, cereals and breads. It was good for me to hear this talk, just to reiterate to myself why I’m doing the sugar challenge – to re-balance my tastebuds and to free myself from the grip sugar has had over me.
How’s My Week Gone?!
I would say that my third week of the challenge has been harder than others in the sense that I’m realising how hard it is to avoid sugar. Sarah does reiterate in her I Quit Sugar book that it is nigh on impossible to completely avoid the stuff – it’s just about keeping your intake as low as possible, to a maximum of 5-6 teaspoons of sugar a day. I’ve managed to stay away from fruit, albeit I did eat a couple of slices of pineapple (completely without thinking!) which were in the shared sweet and sour dish we had with Peter’s parents in the week. I was pleasantly surprised at how very very sweet that dish tasted to me, I really don’t think that three weeks ago it would have tasted quite that sweet.
Something else that I’ve started to find is that my usual cup of tea (which I’ve never had sugar with) is starting to taste strangely sweet to me. Which is very odd! I can only put that down to my tastebuds re-adjusting.
I’m still living by Sarah’s (and Madeleine Shaw’s) approach to crowding out the sugar with a big hit of wholesome veggies, protein and fats – something I’ll probably live by for awhile yet!