Your Healthy Living Show
Healthy? Scotland? Stop sniggering, says , as she investigates the first Your Healthy Living Show
Ah, the great Scottish diet. (You can make up your own joke involving the words ‘deep’, ‘fried’ and possibly ‘Mars Bar’ here, or just recycle one of the thousands already out there.) People who like to mourn such things will often mourn the fact that we have such outstanding natural resources – fresh seafood, venison, locally grown organic produce – and also one of the worst obesity rates in Europe. What these people tend to forget is that this is a class issue; that many of those outstanding natural resources are simply too expensive, too difficult to obtain, for the majority of the population.
This is where Stuart Jackson comes in. He’s probably better-known to Edinburgh residents as the chairman of Real Foods, the much-loved long-running health food shop with branches in Tollcross and on Broughton Street, but this month he’s wearing a different hat, as director of Your Healthy Living Scotland, a two-day, multi-format show based in the Assembly Rooms, featuring stalls, exhibitions, taster sessions and interactive experiences organised by independent Scottish shops and practitioners. Stuart Jackson wants to get Scotland healthy.
‘All of the people and companies contributing to the show are very passionate about health and nutrition, and you’ve got to admit it’s a particular problem here in Scotland. I wanted to create a show that would appeal not just to those people who are already interested in healthy eating and healthy living, but maybe to people who perhaps have a health issue or a problem they’re looking for help with.’
Therefore, the focus of the show is not just on healthy eating (although the cooking demonstrations with local health-focused chefs are a large part of the schedule), but also on complementary therapies (there are opportunities to try out Indian head massage and reflexology) and eco-friendly household management. Along with local company Napiers they’ve created a treatment centre, and the guest speakers include famous herbalist Jan de Vries, ‘green goddess’ and Steve Wright’s Radio 2 co-host Janey Lee Grace, and the renowned nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville. What’s most important to Jackson, though, is that the cost for participants remains low (the £5 entry fee allows access to all events for the whole weekend) and that the emphasis across the whole show is on healthy living at tiny prices.
‘There’s this common belief that healthy food, this sort of lifestyle, is more expensive. One of the key things we’re hoping to do is show exactly why that isn’t the case. In fact, the cooking demonstrations are there to show people: here’s how you can make a meal that’s really healthy and doesn’t cost you anything. We want to change perceptions, across all walks of life, and prove that this way of living is actually far less costly than doing your weekly shop at Iceland.’
Your Healthy Living Show, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, Sat 18 & Sun 19 Jul, www.yourhealthyliving.co.uk