Is it already almost October?! I seriously can’t believe how quickly this month has gone. It seems like it was yesterday that we got back from Alaska (read all about the vacation here and here), but it was already a month ago. Kinda hard to believe. The good news is that while I’ve been really busy lately, I’ve been working on a lot of exciting projects that I can’t wait to start talking about! In the meantime, it’s time to talk about Expo East! For those of you that aren’t familiar, Expo East is the second largest trade show for the Natural Products industry. The largest is Expo West, which occurs in Anaheim, CA every March.
These shows have been a huge part of my life for a number of years. Up until a couple of months ago, I spent the majority of my career working in marketing for various companies in the natural products industry. While it often wasn’t a requirement of my position, I often volunteered to organize and manage trade shows. The job isn’t an easy one and people constantly thought I was crazy, but I always loved it. I think a lot of it was getting a break from being behind a desk and getting to plan such a huge and exciting a event. Helping whichever company I was working for at the time spread the word about their product or story in front of such a large crowd… it was always very rewarding. This year was the first year I went just for myself, as a business owner in the natural products industry and as a blogger and health coach. It was a totally different experience to walk the show without being tied to a booth and I was thrilled to get to spend a little more time chatting with companies and finding new and exciting products.
It’s also super exciting to recap this show on my blog for the first time and tell you guys about the products I love and all of the exciting, new products hitting the market soon! So without further ado, here is my recap of Expo East 2015!
When I first arrived at the show, I headed to the New Products pavilion. This is always my favorite area because it has all of the newest companies and it’s always really exciting to see the very newest companies and products out there.
One of the first things I tried was Sound Sparkling Tea. I mostly drink water, but it’s always nice to find a healthy alternative when I’m craving something a little more flavorful. Sound Sparkling Tea uses absolutely no added sweeteners and you really don’t miss them. All three varieties were super flavorful and refreshing. I have an intense love of Chamomile, so my favorite was definitely the Chamomile, Vanilla and Elderflower. As far as I can tell from their website they are sold in New York mostly, but you can also order online.
Grain free granola has my heart and it’s especially hard to resist when it’s made with coconut oil. I knew instantly after trying this Paleo Scavenger granola that it was made with one of the best and tastiest oils out there. Really loved the Blueberry flavor but the Maple Pecan was also hard to resist! When I want to switch up my normal eggs for breakfast game, some grain free granola with unsweetened almond milk always hits the spot.
I was happy to see one of my favorite jerky companies, The New Primal at the show. They make gluten free, soy free and paleo friendly jerky made from grass fed and pasture raised beef. They launched a few new sticks – one turkey and one beef that were delicious! You can find The New Primal in stores nationwide or on Thrive Market.
I admit, I am a pretty big sucker for pretty packaging and I couldn’t help but stop and admire these gorgeous goats milk soaps from Serenity Acres Farm. I am all about companies exposing what their products are really made from and telling the story of the ingredients. Serenity Acres does a beautiful job of talking about their farm and even goes as far as outlining the personality of the goat that’s responsible for your amazing smelling soap. Plus, the Serenity Acres folks were so unbelievably nice. It’s hard for me to get really excited about soap, but I was sincerely impressed by Serenity Acres Farm.
Speaking of pretty packaging, I am also a huge fan of Rebbl‘s labels. Not to mention their delicious beverages. The Tumeric Golden Milk and Matcha Latte are two of my favorite treats that I pick up from Whole Foods. I don’t drink these often as they contain a bit more sugar than I like to have in one sitting, but on occasion, I enjoy them guilt-free. They are so delicious when ice cold that it’s hard not to just chug the whole thing. Seriously, they’re that good.
It took me a good long while to find a protein bar I loved, but ever since trying RxBar, I haven’t turned back. RxBar revealed some new packaging at the show and also sampled their new seasonal flavor, Pumpkin Spice. Let’s be honest, pumpkin spice anything is hard to resist and this bar is no exception. I’ve had one for breakfast for the past couple days! Not only are RxBars amazingly delicious and made with real no BS ingredients, but they are also available on Amazon!
Safe Catch tuna is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Every single tuna that’s caught is tested for mercury and unlike most brands, their cans feature one whole tuna steak as opposed to multiple pieces. What I loved about trying their product was that they explained how important it was not to drain the natural oils from the can, since no added liquid was added to begin with. Simply combine the tuna with it’s natural oils and it will actually reabsorb the liquid creating an absolutely delicious and velvety textured tuna. Thumbs up!!
I was also really excited to run into Vital Proteins. I got a sample of their Collagen Peptides at Paleof(x) and I had recently run out. I had some leftover in my cabinet from another brand but I definitely preferred Vital Proteins so I was glad to grab some more of their products. I use collagen mixed with some cold water at night or with my morning coffee to support my skin health. I am also really excited to try their beef liver supplements. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get myself to like the taste of liver, so these Vital Proteins beef liver supplements are a savior!
Spicely showcased some delicious organic chocolates made with spices like Allspice and Sweet Paprika Cumin. It was nice to see a fresh and bold take on chocolate and I really appreciated the unique flavors the spices brought out in the chocolate.
After heading downstairs, I ran into Mikey’s Muffins. These paleo English muffins are made with only 6 ingredients (with a base of almond flour) and come in several flavors, Original, Toasted Onion and Cinnamon Raisin. Just the thought of slathering some ghee on these makes my mouth water. I am definitely going to have to order some of these soon!
If there’s one thing that makes me happier than whole, healthy food it’s finding whole, healthy food that’s also local. I was excited to learn that Real Bone Broth is located just one town over from me in Carlsbad, CA. Their broth is made exclusively from organic chicken and kept me nice and warm (not to mention healthy) while walking the freezing show floor. I have no idea why I hadn’t seen it before, but this broth is available in the freezer section at a ton of stores close by. I wish I had the time to make bone broth at home but normally I don’t. Definitely time to stock up on some Real Bone Broth!
Okay, so maybe popcorn isn’t totally paleo. But when it’s made with Non-GMO corn and cooked in coconut oil, I don’t feel too bad about the occasional indulgence. I’ve known the folks at Quinn Popcorn for years now and I have been so excited to watch them grow and expand. They started with microwave popcorn but relatively recently launched bagged popcorn as well. With the addition of this coconut oil variety, it is definitely something I will be buying more often when I am looking for a popcorn fix. I also love that you can see exactly where the corn originated from for your specific bag of popcorn.
SoapBox is another company I’ve been following for a number of years. For each bar of soap or bottle of body wash/liquid soap sold, SoapBox donates a month’s supply of water, a years worth of vitamins and a bar of soap to a child in need. They also recently launched a line of products in Target!
Yep, that’s right. I saved the best for last. If you haven’t tried Cappello’s pastas yet, you are really, really missing out. After cutting out grains from my diet over 5 years ago, pasta was never something I missed too much. The thought of consuming so much wheat and carbohydrates just stopped being appealing. Most gluten-free pastas didn’t do the trick either as those are also carb-laden and full of fillers and unhealthy ingredients. Cappello’s on the other hand, is the exception. Cappello’s is paleo-friendly and made with almond flour. It makes for the perfect pasta indulgence and tastes so similar to homemade, authentic pasta. Of course, those pictures above aren’t of pasta, I know. That’s because Cappello’s just launched PIZZA! That’s right, paleo-friendly pizza and pizza crusts are coming to a store near you. I mostly avoid dairy but one a while, I do okay with a bit of sheep’s milk or goat’s milk. The fact that Cappello’s is coming out with a sheep’s milks pizza is probably the most exciting news I’ve heard all year!
There were so many other companies I loved seeing at the show and wish I had more time to hang out and take more pictures. Thankfully, I will be able to spend a bit more time at Expo West in March so you can count on another Expo recap coming soon. Until next year!