I had the pleasure of attending Expo West in Anaheim, CA last week. Expo West is a huge (as in monstrous) natural products trade show - there were over 60,000 attendees and over 2,000 exhibitors. As a first-timer, everyone told me NOT to eat too much, but I couldn't help myself. All those samples of interesting products definitely got to me! The trade show had specialty food, pet products, personal health and beauty products, supplements and ingredients.
The biggest trends this year were nons: companies using 1) non-genetically engineered or modified foods (non-GMO), and 2) being gluten-free. At MindfulEats, we're heartened by the increasing popularity of non-GMO foods and a little perplexed by the gluten-free trend. Only 1% of the US population has Celiac disease (an allergy to wheat), and 6% of the population has some kind of wheat intolerance, but the words "No Gluten" are popping up all over the place. Until I develop an allergy, I am going to keep eating spelt berries (whole wheat berries), which have recently become one of my favorite whole grains.
There was also a little chia trend, which was great to see. Which reminds me I need to do a post on this amazing super-food.
Outstanding products at Expo West were:
- Go Raw bars. I have never been able to find a granola bar that I like, but these live sprouted bars were delicious. I tried the granola bar, the apricot bar, and the banana bread flax bar. All yummy. I even gave some of a bar to my boyfriend and he liked it (before he found out it was raw).
- Sea Tangle Noodle Company. These sea kelp noodles are chewy, kinda crisp, raw and easy to prepare. They don't taste oceany at all.
- Greenoodle. These instant noodles are made with unbleached and unprocessed wheat flour, and have Morohieya (a vegetable) added to them. The result is a tasty, chewy fast instant noodle meal that's healthier. I can't wait to buy them.
- Russo's Gluten-Free Pizza. There were lots of gluten free pizza sample, but this one stood out as scrumptious. There were even lines for it. It tasted like real pizza.
- Mamma Chia. These chia drinks were delicious. Sometimes chia can be thick and slimey, but these drinks were refreshing and went down easy. And they're loaded with chia! You can see the seeds.
- New York Superfoods. These chia nut butters and snacks were yummy and loaded with chia. Another tasty "bar." This company is also a finalist for the Next Big Small Brand. I met the co-founders, Catherine and Jason, and they were both really sweet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them!
What I ate: chocolate croissant, coffee, chicken, vegetables, couscous, ground beef in tomato sauce, whole wheat pasta, pear
Exercise: 120 situps, 6 push-ups, 25 tricep pushups, 3 backbends