Expo West 2017… more officially known as the Natural Products Expo West, is where we recently spent three days listening to amazing speakers (like Doug Rauch of Trader Joe’s and Neil Grimmer, founder of Plum Organics) and testing the limits of our fit bits as we walked the aisles of nearly 2,700 booths in expo halls at the Anaheim Convention Center. With all the sampling, you don’t need to take a break for lunch, but by the end of the day, we do miss having something fresh to eat (salad, anyone?).
Don’t let “natural” in the name fool you into thinking this was a convention full of healthy, can’t-get-enough-of-it foods that will improve your health and have you looking like GI Jane by summer. Many, if not most, of the products are still processed foods. They may be better than a candy bar, but still not as good as a trip to the farmer’s market. That doesn’t mean we didn’t find some great new products that are Thrive & Dine Approved… we did!
Just like you, each of us has our own food personality (what we do and don’t like the taste of) so we thought we'd each share our individual top favorites from this year’s Expo. Some of these products are already available at health food stores, some at mainstream grocery stores and others are found online with the company or good-ole Amazon (links included when possible).
Want to know what new products you’ll find in our kitchens this year? Here are just a few peeks of what we’ll be buying….
Farmhouse Cultures Gut Shots
- No, it’s not a punch in the stomach, but instead, a shot of live probiotics. Sounds terrible I know, but many people do not like eating sauerkraut or kimchi, yet still want the benefits of the live probiotics. Gut Shots are the answer for nourishing your microbiome in one quick shot. Gut Shots come in five flavors: Classic Caraway, Garlic Dill Pickle, Ginger Beet, Smoked Jalapeno and Kimchi. Look for them in the refrigerated section at Mother’s Market, Sprouts and Whole Foods.
Navitas Organics Essential Blends in Vanilla & Greens and Cacao & Greens
- I will be adding these superfood blends to my smoothies when they become available, which will be soon. These superfood blends contain five diverse sources of complete plant proteins, four powerhouse greens, six billion CFU’s of probiotics and four digestive enzymes, and fourteen nutrient-dense superfoods. These do not contain any sugar, additives or artificial sweeteners and they taste great.
- Think almond butter, but kicked up a notch or two in flavor, nutrition and awesomeness. This superfood almond butter is made with chia, hemp seeds and gogi berries and tastes amazing. I love the portable packaging, which is great for traveling. Yumbutter also offers these flavors: superfood peanut butter, cashew butter, sunflower butter and a fabulous espresso peanut butter, which is blended with cocoa and cinnamon…to die for! All are made with organic ingredients and each product sold helps to feed a child in need through their holistic business model.
- Imagine getting certified organic fresh herbs, only lightly dried, that will last in your fridge for 4 weeks once opened…. That’s Gourmet Garden and I fell in love with this herb product! I get so tired of throwing out bunches of wilted and slimy herbs and I’m always looking for a quick way to add fresh herbs to a nice meal without a ton of chopping and prep time. Gourmet Garden is the perfect fix. More than one of these will be in my fridge very soon.
- This is such a cool product! Organic, cold-pressed, 1.7 oz juice shots in little mini glass bottles which are very portable when you’re in a hurry (or not) and want to stay on a healthy path! KOR uses HPP processing to protect the nutritional integrity of the juice. My favorite flavor is the wheatgrass shot called “Green Up” with wheatgrass juice, chlorella, spirulina, lemon juice, pineapple juice & ginger juice. The Turmeric shot called “Vitality” is another favorite of mine and contains coconut water, turmeric root juice and lemon juice. Yummy and good for us! Locally made in Malibu, six different shots are on the market now in Orange County at Whole Foods.
Nutiva Organic Liquid Coconut Oil
- If you’re using organic, cold-pressed, coconut oil for cooking like me, you know the winter months make it a more solid substance and that means an added step of melting it before use. Well, this new product is for you and me! Nutiva says it’s the “first organic liquid coconut oil in the world”. No more melt time added to your prep. It comes in two flavors: Classic Certified Organic Coconut Oil and Garlic Coconut Oil.
- This is my go-to komucha brand lately and to be able to sample all their flavors at the Expo was a treat. My favorite flavor has been Free Ride (hibiscus brew), but I’ll be adding Spring Fling (cucumber, mint, lemon) to my fridge as well. It just might double as a cocktail mixer, too. Available at Bristol Farms, Mother’s Market and Whole Foods.
- Bone broth isn’t a new concept, it’s an age-old food that is making a splash and it’s about time. Traditionally made bone broths are a cornerstone of health, and Bru Broth is making it easier to have bone broth in your kitchen on a regular basis. Theirs comes in delicious flavor profiles like Turmeric Ginger, Coconut Aminos and Hot Greens. Made from bones of grass-fed, pasture raised animals and organic veggies, too. Go to www.brubroth.com for more details. Available now in northern California and coming soon to southern California.
Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray
- This new product won’t hit the stores until July, but I am sure it’s going to me one of my new favorites. It’s a plant-based, no rinse disinfectant that kills cold and flu viruses and is safe on food contact surfaces (think Lysol, without the harmful chemicals). I could have used this quite a bit this past winter.
This is only a sampling of some of the great products we encountered. Stay connected with us through Facebook, Instagram and Pintrest to get a peek of some of our other favorites as we use them in our everyday lives. And don’t hesitate to share your favorite help-you-thrive brands with us, too! We love to hear from our readers.