Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Recap of #ExpoWest

A few weeks ago I attended the world’s largest organic, natural, and healthy foods event, The Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. It was so fun to start the day off by listening to a live performance from Michael Franti on my way to the expo hall.  I’m such a fan and it started the day off on such a happy note. Gourmet food trucks and vendors surrounded the stage, leaving me with the decision of where to begin! I grabbed a healthy breakfast which gave me just the boost of energy I needed before entering the expo hall.

Inside the convention center was a maze of booths featuring a variety of products – food, beauty products, pet supplies, and even household items. To be completely honest, it was a little bit of sensory overload! I was most excited to sample some of the delicious, nutritious foods available and meet the masterminds behind all these products, so naturally, I grabbed the first bag I could find and hit the foodie aisles. It was soon after I entered the expo hall that I realized my “little goodie bag” wasn't so little. It almost hit my knees. I hope you can visualize this accurately. So funny.

First stop, Yogi Tea! The table was decorated with colorful tea leaves and the representatives were dressed as yogis which made this booth a must-see. Plus, the samples were just what I needed. I’ve been a huge fan of Yogi tea since I took my first sip of Egyptian Licorice Mint about seven years ago. While that flavor is still my absolute favorite, you’ll find a variety of several kinds of Yogi tea in my pantry at all times.  My favorite flavor at the expo was the Cinnamon Vanilla. Tea definitely has a calming effect, even in the middle of this busy crowd. And equally as wonderful of as their flavors of tea, are the messages on their tea tags. You can see what I mean if you take a peek at the Yogi Tea Instagram Account

Next, CLIF Bar & Company! Lisa and I have openly spoken of our admiration for the LUNA and CLIF teams and their line of products. I absolutely love what the company stands for and they’re one of my go-to products when I need something to hold me over until meal time. The CLIF MOJO Coconut Almond Peanut Bars or Kit’s Organic Lemon Vanilla + Chia Seeds are on my current list of personal favorites.

La Croix is a sparkling water brand that is manufactured right here in the USA.  Their display was simple and refreshing – much like the product! The beverages come in a variety of flavors such as peach pear, coconut, and lime. Grapefruit is my favorite. There are no artificial colors, flavors or additives used in this carbonated water which makes it the perfect substitute for soda.

The SoDelicious Booth!

“Say yes to what you love.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. There is most definitely room for the foods you love in a healthy, well-rounded diet. 

Fresh berries always have a way of capturing my attention. They were the perfect topping for these yogurt cups and the perfect pairing for granola!

After a long day of taste-testing, it was finally time to have a sit-down dinner. That large bag I grabbed at the beginning of the event quickly filled up and my shoulder was ready for a rest! The OrganicCenter hosted their 11th Annual VIP Dinner at the Natural Products Expo and I was so lucky to be able to attend. The tables were decorated with a beautiful flower arrangement and a fresh salad was placed at our seats. A buffet-style dinner included grouper, steak, roasted root vegetables, roasted potatoes, and jasmine rice. Everything was presented impeccably and was most importantly, delicious! During dinner, Jessica Shade, Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center spoke of the significant accomplishments the center has made in the past year as well as the exciting research they are currently conducting.

After dinner, it was time to go home, although I admittedly got lost in the parking lot and considered walking across the street to Disneyland to go play with Mickey and the rest of the Disney crew. 

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