A couple weeks back, as many of you might know, I went to the Natural Products Expo West in Anahiem. It is at the convention center, right near Disneyland, and it was the largest show to date. With over 1 million square feet of show floor, it is enourmous and the likelyhood of seeing everything is slim. Granted, I walked around the Expo salivating over all the new products and chatting with health nuts about their creations and the purpose they served. It is hard not to walk away from this event bursting with inspiration from the energy and excitment that we all share for healthy, wholesome food. This industry might not be growing as fast as cannabis, but as more and more people are becoming aware of the toxic ingredients in most foods in the supermarket, the demand for simpler, healthier food is increasing. I am so excited to share with you what I discovered and what I love from the show with full disclosure: no one is paying me to write about them- I truly loved these products and the people who created them.
SNACKS: I am always looking for healthy snacks when I am on the go and sometimes I am not sure what to grab so one of my objectives was to find some. Below is a list of my favorite snack items from the show.
1. chic-a-peas– Baked crunchy chickpeas | If you follow me on instagram you see how often I use chickpeas in my salads. I absolutely love chickpeas and this year, the number of chickpea items was impressive. I love chic-a-peas because they are non-gmo certified, high in protien, fiber, zero trans fats and they use minimal ingredients- no crazy chemicals I do not recigonize or can’t pronounce. I love the Falafel flavor, and the BBQ! But the other flavors are awesome as well.
2. Beanfields– a healthy chip that is vegan, high in protien, fiber, and is corn and gluten free. Whats not to love? The flavors of these guys are insane, every single one is delicious and they are made with things like black beans, navy beans, long grain rice. One of my favorite things is that they list what they used to accomplish the flavoring. If you have ever looked at the ingredients list on a bag of a flavored item more often then not it says “natural flavor” or “natural spices” but they dont actually list them out so you have no clue what that means. Beanfields lists out the flavoring ingredients so you truly know what you are eating. The vegan ranch is awesome – my best friend randomly sent me a text with a photo of the chips telling me how they are her new favorite thing. Thats one more thing we agree on. 🙂
3. PUREnola: this granola is awesome and is a local Los Angeles made product. I love everything from the simple packaging to the simple list of ingredients. The flavors are delicious and each batch is handmade, organic, grain free, gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free and paleo friendly. Whats not to love?
DRINKS: Long gone are the days when I would drink endless cups of coffee and soda. Now I enjoy one cup of jo in the morning followed almost exclusively by water and then maybe some wine with dinner. However, every so often I will treat myself to a special drink of some kind. Below are the new ones I found and loved.
1. WTRMLNWTR: The hype of coconut water has reached its peak and there is a new kid in town. Watermelon Water is, as I am sure you can imagine, delicious. This company is funny, has great branding and doesn’t take themselves to seriously. But the health benefits of their drink is no joke. Its insanely hydrating, filled with electrolytes, excellent source of vitamin C, and pottasium (one bottle has almost double that which you would get in a single banana). It has lycopene and L-Citrulline, an amino acid that is great post workout for muscle recovery. Dare I say it might be healthier then cocnut water?
2. Bhakti Chai: I love this stuff and it is a company from Boulder, CO so I love them even more. They offer tea bags but I love the bottled variety, as it taste like to just made if from scratch your kitchen. You will never want to drink a starbucks chai ever again.
SWEET STUFF: cause duh.
1. emmys organics: Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free Macaroons. The Chai Macaron is out of this world. Just trust me.
2. Hu Kitchen: Paleo, vegan, soy free, refined sugar free, no gluten, no GMO choclate. I am not personaly into Paleo per-say, but I can get behind any real food movement. These chocolate bars are short on ingredients and long on flavor. I love the Almond Butter + Puffed Qunioa Choclate Bar. This company is also a reasutrant in NYC and I think they should move out to LA.
CONDIMENTS: would you like some fries with your ketchup? I don’t use condiments that much- unless I am eating a sandwich or french fries but that might be when most people use them too. A huge part of why I love these to condiments is because I love the company and the peole behind it. The story of the product is awesome and inspiring which is something I want to share and support.
1. Aveyo: the avocado mayo. Made with avocados, not eggs. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ryan, the owner and creator of the brand. He is a young guy (maybe in his late twenties, but I am not positive and really cute). He told me that he was making a chicken salad at a party and was using mayo. He found himself thinking about how unhealthy it was and how he preferred to use avocados. Not only would it be way healthier- it would also taste better. Additionally, he realy wanted to be a part of the movement away from over processed food products- he like me is fed up with the industry. He got to work in his kitchen and created a “mayo” out of avocados called Aveyo. It taste great, I love the packaging and I highly reccomened trying it out.
2. Sir Kensington’s: What is not to love. I seriously love this brand, love their products, their marketing, their packaging, the website- all of it. Its awesome. The Ketchup is unmatched, Spicy Mustard just right, and the mayo is the best I’ve ever had.
3. Marie Sharps Hot Suace: This is a hot sauce from Belize and that is where I first discovered it. It is like the Hienz of hot suace– literally served at every resturant. This past new years I was in Belize and brought back 13 bottles with me- so much that I had to buy an additional suit case to fit it all. It was worth it, and my boyfriend practically drinks the stuff. The flavors are awesome.
MISC: cause carbs.
1. Banza: pasta made from chickpeas: yeah fat girls rejoice, a healthy gluten free pasta that is full of fiber and protien. sold. One of the common pitfalls with alternative ingredient pastas is texture. Luckily, Banzas testure is just like regular pasta made from wheat, tastes delicious. I really really loved this product as I love chickpeas and was so happy that Brian, the co-founder sent me home with a box.
2. Good Paper Cards: These cards are “handcrafted for by women who have escaped prostitution in the Phillippines.” Its hard to not want to support a company that not only has insanely cute cards, but supports other women from around the world by giving them a job.