Friday, March 20, 2009

Noshing At The Natural Products Expo West

What can I say, I LOVE food! So you can imagine what a treat it was to attend the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim this year. This place is a veritable wonderland for foodies and health nuts alike. Not open to the public however, this a a convention for natural products from food, supplements, beauty, lifestyle and more, to showcase and debut their newest to retail buyers nationwide. There was so much to see and do but here is my roundup of stuff to look out for on your favorite healthy grocer's shelves!

Let's start with healthy snacks, which are great when you're on the go like me! I really liked:
  • Kind Nutrition Bars as they were tasty and wholesome - nut and fruit bars that are wheat, gluten and dairy free.
  • Yoga Chips-Apple Chips are killer! You get a whole apple in one serving and 5 in the larger package - nothing but crispy, deliciousness - the only ingredient is a fuji apple! Yum! These are perfect for trips, lunchboxes, diaper bags, etc - for kids and adults alike!!!
  • Good On Ya Bars are some of the tastiest raw bars I have ever had. In flavors like peanut butter chocolate, you feel like you're being naughty when in actuality, you are being oh so good!
  • Galaxy Granola is cute, fun and nutritious. Either for a snack or for a hearty breakfast, GG is a smart choice. The Mocha Fudge, Not Sweet Vanilla Munch and the new Maple Pecan Quinoa Meteor Bites are vegan, organic and so darn tasty. Some of the other flavors have honey but if you're a honey eating veg or just a healthy omnivore, you'll still love Galaxy! Their ingredients are so wholesome and nutritious and they way they bake (applesauce, not oil) and prep their products yield a far less fattening granola then any other on the market!
  • Popchips are revolutionary as they are the only chips that don't fry or bake the potato - they pop them for ultimate taste, texture and health. I'm a sucker for a good bbq chip and these have none of the guilt. Popchips pack a punch!
  • Luna/Clif Bars is always a sure hit when you're on the go. Clif and Luna bars have always been vegan and will always be an awesome choice for any snack. The flavors a great and the ingredients are well incorporated into every bar, espcecially Lunas as they are made for us ladies ; )
  • Purefit Bars are the best "work outy-nutrition" bar on the market. They are vegan, gluten free, free of bad olis and fake sweeteners while sacrificing zippo.
  • Pirate's Booty is a fun treat! The only vegan option is the veggie booty but it's a good one in lieu of fried tater chips. I really like that they use real green veggies to make them!
  • Cassava Chips by Arico Foods are a fun alternative to potato chips. With twice the fiber and 40% less fat than regular potato chips, cassava (another root veggie) are a smart choice. Arico also makes a line of cookies and cookie bars that are dairy, gluten as well as gluten and dairy free varieties. They do include eggs but for non vegans who are in search of an organic and healthier cookie option, here it is!
  • Stretch Island Fruit Co. has a fun, sweet line of all natural, vegan fruit leather. For trips or your kid's lunch box, flavors like autumn apple and summer strawberry, these fruity snacks are a sure hit.
Cooking is one of my favorite things to do and finding new and healthy products to incorporate into my concoctions. I liked new products from:
  • Pamela's Products is a perfect alternative for those that are gluten sensitive. Lots of options for cake, bread and other tasty baking products.
  • Cedar's Mediterranean Foods carries a slew of fresh hummus, salsas and delish bean salads. I devoured their new bean salad!!
  • Sukhi's Indian Cuisine knocked my socks off!!! I love Indian food and this brand is redonkulously yum! Lots of fresh frozen items as well as jarred sauces, mixes and grab and go meals. It's family owned and they definitely are on my top 5 list of new companies I discovered at the expo!
  • LightLife Tempeh and Tofurky Tempeh excited me as I really like tempeh when it's prepared well. Both companies have different flavors and are packaged heat and eat style. Tempeh is wonderful for you and I was so happy to see new tempeh products that are easy to make are taste great!
  • Daiya Foods rocked my world!! It is a new cheese alternative that is vegan as well as gluten and soy free!! It melts, shreds and "acts" like real cheese and best of all, it RULES!!
  • El Burrito makes Soyrizo (always available in my fridge!) as well as a wide range of other soy meats. Some have whey but the soy taco, soyrizo and their new soy pepperoni are all vegan and can fool the most meaty mcmeat eater there is!
  • Cedarlane has been a staple in my household as they have a variety of healthy alternative frozen foods. My guy isn't vegan but I get him as close as I can with healthy and organic meals and now Cedarlane has a bean and tofu enchilada meal that has made me a big fan along with my not so veggie honey ; )
I also found some wonderful home and lifestyle products such as:
  • To-Go Ware is right up my alley ; ) For green conscious foodies on the go, to-go ware has a line of personal eco utensils in a neat eco carrying case as well as these cool hot/cold food carriers and containers. Definitely a must for a healthy voyager ; )
  • BioKleen is a company that makes eco cleaning products. Everything from stain remover to dish washing soap, all of it is great for the environment as well as fo you and if your taking a long trip, everything is so concentrated that a little in a travel size bottle can go along way!
  • DynaFlex offers up some neat health and exercise equipment from medicine balls to neato contraptions that work sore hands and wrists to keep from getting carpal tunnel and the like. Their products come in all sizes so they are perfect for home or travel!
  • Jean Pierre Cosmetics carries new natural line called "Blum" (bloom). Products like face wash and exfoliating pads, they are made with clean ingredients that keep your skin healthy and radiant. I have a travel size pouch of the facial towels in my purse at all times ; )
In the beverage department I enjoyed:
  • Pom has skyrocketed in popularity over the years and rightfully so. It's tasty and healthy and I'm so happy that the general populous has found a product that combines both! They launched a new coffee pom, not vegan as it has dairy, but I did bug them to make a soy or rice milk version ; ) Keep your eyes peeled!
  • Izze is a nice alternative to sodas. All natural ingredients and refreshing flavors, Izze is a great option to soft drinks filled with high fructose corn syrup or worse, sugar replacements like aspartame, etc. I like me some Izze!
  • Guyaki Mate has been a member of my grocery list for years. The properties of this tea are super healing and super healthy. Great as a latte!!
And even though I preach health, I can't deprive myself from the occasional sweet! But these are wonderful alternatives that will satisfy any sweet tooth ; ):
  • Arrowhead Mills Bake With Me Gluten Free Mixes are a nice way to bring kids into the kitchen as well as keeping them healthy. The samples I had were moist and sweet and no gluten free eaters need be deprived any more.
  • Soy Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream Bars & Sandwiches take the cake! Even my non vegan honey ate them up! I love that there are more and more soy free alternatives as I like to have more options to keep as healthy as possible. These new coconut milk ice cream products were fantastic both in taste and in innovation!
  • Amy's Kitchen Chocolate Cake is new to their wide variety of healthful products. I'm a huge fan of Amy's product line as they have something for everyone be you vegan, gluten free or just want to eat a good organic, quick meal. The chocolate pound cake I had was incredibly moist and I can't wait to see them in my local Whole Foods freezer aisle!
  • Nana's cookies have always been a top choice of mine when I'm in need of a big ol' vegan cookie on the go. They are always vegan, have no refined sugars and also offer gluten free options. And now they've got cookie bites and cookie bars (which also come in big fiber versions too!) so you can't go wrong when you need a sweet nibble with Nana's.
The Expo was terrific and I'm so happy I was able to taste so much yummy food as well as meet the people behind them. I hope you are able to find some if not all of these products at your local grocer soon! And be sure to look out for these as well as more great products and restaurants who have received the "Healthy Voyager Approved" seal of approval in the directory coming soon to!!


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