Health & Nutrition | DessertFest | The Ultimate Cheat Day

I have two words for you: diets suck! Hey, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat foods that are good for you; I’m just saying that you should ditch the diets and embrace health as a lifestyle, not a fad. Diets just don’t work. Even the word can make some people cringe. So, here’s my theory: take care of your body by fueling it with clean, healing and energizing foods… most of the time.

Before y’all go bananas and start freaking out over the Holistic Nutritionist telling you to go out there and start eating crap, let me explain myself. Success comes in taking small, calculated steps towards a specific goal. I have had more success with my clients when they feel empowered with their health. Empowered to make their own decisions, to create their own boundaries and to break them whenever the heck they want to. Life isn’t all or nothing, folks. It’s a balance that you create for yourself, in your own way.

Dessert Fest

Although, there’s this one thing that stops us from empowering ourselves sometimes… it’s called guilt. The idea that we are not deserving of help, that we are not worthy of love, that we are not allowed to make certain decisions for ourselves. If you’re going to eat that cupcake, don’t feel bad about it – just eat it. You’ll cause your body stress if you worry, and then you won’t digest it properly anyways. Lose – Lose.

Just relax. Having a treat once in a blue moon isn’t going to kill you. Be educated and be aware of what you’re putting in your body and then realize that sometimes you just need to let go. Try to do what’s good for your physical health, but don’t forget the stuff that’s good for your soul. And gosh darnit, sometimes a cupcake is just good for my soul.

There are two people in the Ottawa health and wellness industry who feel the same way as I do. Chelsea and Jean Luc Boissonneault, personal trainers and founders of Free Form Fitness personal training studios, have created the ultimate cheat day… DESSERTFEST.

It’s one weekend a year where you can literally feel like a kid in a candy store. And there’s something for everyone! There is chocolate, candy, ice cream, cupcakes, wine, coffee and even candy cocktails. Don’t you think it’s time to take a fun-filled break from your healthy lifestyle for a little bit, so that you can relax without any of that pesky lingering guilt? You’re welcome.

Here are some of the vendors you’ll meet at DESSERTFEST:

Delicious Baking

Delicious Baking

Established in 2006, Delicious Baking is a small wholesale bakery based in Perth, Ontario, operating a fully licensed and inspected commercial kitchen that supplies freshly made baked goods to local grocery and health food stores. Their mission is to provide high quality food that is locally produced and handmade, one by one, without the use of any added artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. In keeping with this theme, sourcing locally and participating in sustainability are at the core of their values.

Their most popular menu items include sweet and savoury pies such as; apple, bumbleberry, raspberry & peach, maple pecan, wild blueberry, pumpkin, fieldberry, savoury tourtiere, Guinness and beef pot pie, chicken pot pie and curried chicken with almonds, apples and wild rice. They also provide tarts, crumbles, cookies, cakes, biscuits, squares, cinnamon rolls, and much more. Once you try one of their signature pies, you’ll never look back. Sorry to all the grandmas out there, but you’ve been replaced.


The Cupcake Lounge

Cupcake Collage

Did someone say cupcake? The Cupcake Lounge is one of Ottawa’s leading retail bakeries specializing in all natural, gourmet cupcakes. They’re baked fresh daily and made from the finest ingredients, with no artificial flavours, lard, preservatives, or trans fats, and iced by hand with a spatula; not piped. They also offer cakes and other sweets, Swiss pressure-brewed coffee, and Ottawa’s one and only cupcake & wine pairing lounge! 

Offering approximately 50 different flavours of cupcakes throughout the year, their flavours are available on a daily, weekly and monthly or seasonal basis. With two locations in Ottawa, one in the Byward Market and one in Westboro, you’re sure to get your cupcake fix – all while keeping it pure, simple and absolutely delicious.

cupcakelounge logo

Burrito Shack


How could anyone host a festival dedicated to desserts without some Mexican food? No, but seriously, this place is a great addition to a night filled to the brim with sweets. Burrito Shack was founded with the belief that real food and fresh ingredients matter. Their focus is centered literally from the ground up for all of their menu items. Whenever possible, they grow their own ingredients based on texture, smell and quality. As often as possible, they purchase local Ontario farm produce and pesticide free ingredients. I can’t wait to dig in!


Thyme & Again


If you’re looking for fresh seasonal ingredients, innovative menus, attention to detail and a caring team of individuals – look no further. Thyme & Again opened its doors in 1991 with a dream to bring great food to homes, businesses and special events throughout Canada’s Capital Region.

Their food shop menu changes weekly and their catering menus change seasonally, allowing for freshness and quality. Located in the heart of growing West Wellington Village, their warm and inviting location is a great place to stop by for coffee with an old friend, indulge yourself in one of their award-winning desserts or grab a delicious home cooked meal to go or to eat in. I’m sure they are set to push the culinary envelope during the entire show!


SuzyQ Doughnuts


Founded in 2012, SuzyQ Doughnuts is a heavy-hitter on the Ottawa dessert scene. With lineups out the door on a regular basis, their doughnuts honour the old Finnish traditional recipe of the “Sugar Munkki” with new and unique flavours being created all the time. Their combination of classics like Maple Bacon, Cookies n’ Cream, Dirty Chocolate and Salty Caramel are paired with more experimental and seasonal flavours such as Blue Vanilla Fruit Loop, Mango Lassi, Raspberry Lemonade and Bumbleberry. This busy local Hintonburg business a must-visit in Ottawa’s burgeoning food scene.

suzy q

My plan is to just keep eating my veggies, clean protein and healthy fats (business as usual) before ruining it all for a couple of hours at the show. I’m going to relax, take a deep breath while letting go of all of my stress… and then I’ll shove a cupcake into my face. See you there! 

All your favourite desserts under one roof June 11 from 11am-12am & June 12 from 11am-8pm 2016 at Lansdowne – Aberdeen Pavilion

*Adults 19+ only Sat after 8pm

DessertFest Map

Make sure to follow along with my Instagram account! For more information and helpful tips, make sure to stay up to date with all things Health & Nutrition on my website, Catherine’s Cabinet.

In health,
Catherine Sugrue, CNP
Holistic Nutritionist

Photos: Delicious Baking, The Cupcake Lounge, Burrito Shack, Thyme & Again, SuzyQ Doughnuts, DESSERTFEST