This past weekend was a blur of oat milk, cauliflower, and CBD. I feel beyond grateful to have been able to attend Expo West in Anaheim, California. It has honestly been a goal of mine for years, so to go as a blogger and health coach was huge for me.
What exaclty is Expo West? It’s essentially a gathering of brands in the “natural products” industry ranging from new to well known that come together to learn and share and drive positive change. It’s expo style, so you literally walk around through thousands of booths connecting with people and hearing about their incredible products. You also eat more samples than any human should consume and walk away with bags and bags full of every amazing health item on the market. Any wellness brand you can even imagine is there, so this was literally like I died and went to a Whole Foods themed heaven. It’s for buyers, health professionals, content creators, and anyone with a passion for organic and healthy. The best part is, it’s not just food. There’s also skin care, dog brands, and household cleaning products!
The samples were incredible of course, but the connections were even better. It was really good for me to get out of my comfort zone and confidently tell people what I do and why. I LOVE connecting, and it’s something I’m really good at, so why don’t I put myself out there more?! Ultimately, the answer comes down to self doubt and not believing that I have something valuable to offer. This event was such a good reminder that that is complete bs, and I need to practice this skill more often. I totally felt in my element there and like I was exactly where I’m meant to be!
A lot of the companies there are releasing a brand new product that hasn’t even hit shelves yet. The fact that I got to be a part of something that the public has yet to try was mind blowing to me! My favorite part was talking with people behind the brand, and hearing WHY they do what they do. What this new product is all about and why they so strongly believe in it. It was absolutely incredible to see people first hand making a difference in the wellness industry. It goes so far beyond just tasting delish food. These people are on a mission to better the world one healthy and clean product at a time, and educate on the power of real food. Every one of these companies started with a dream and a passion that turned into a mission that turned into a fulfilling career. I feel incredibly inspired by what I saw and heard, and it gave me a lot of encouragement to move forward with my own dreams!
I met so many amazing brands, there are too many to even list! You’ll definitely see a lot more of them in the future, as I plan to partner up with some that I wholeheartedly believe in. But for now, here are some of my faves! These guys are all worthy of supporting and some are even coming out with a new product that you absolutely need to know about!
They are known for their minimal ingredient protein bars, but did you know they also have a nut butter?! Their nut butter is one of my all time favorites. And this fall, you’ll see an oatmeal cup from them!! It’s no different from their other amazing things-minimal ingredients with names you can actually pronounce. I got to taste it and it was so delish, so I can’t wait to see it hit shelves!
Perfect Bar can do no wrong in my eyes, and I’m sure you’ve seen me preach about them before. They are one of the only snacks that sustains me enough in between meals (hi fast metabolism). The only problem is, I don’t always need the whole bar and often times eat it in doses. Well it’s like they knew just what I needed because they are releasing bites in a cup! You’re able to control portion easily, and still bring them on the go.
Another brand that runs my life-Simple Mills. I literally live on their pizza crust, crackers, and cupcake mix. They are all gluten free, no added fluff or fillers, and perfect for the lazy baker. ME!
Their latest? Brownie mix!! You guys, these almond flour brownies were literally some of the best brownies I’ve ever had (besides yours, mom!) and I went back to that booth for samples of it 3 times.
Wild Friends Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This company is completely female founded, which is incredible! I love everything these women are doing, and every single one of their nut butters is basically life changing. Not dramatic at all. Their latest is a chocolate hazelnut spread, aka healthy nutella. You heard it here first!! Definitely get your hands on this asap.
Charlotte’s Web CBD
The entire show had booth after booth of CBD, it was incredibly overwhelming. The more I learn about CBD, the more I realize how careful you have to be when purchasing it. There is such thing as low and high quality, and when it comes to this stuff you really want the best. Charlotte’s Web is the leading brand for CBD products, and I am so thrilled for all that they are doing. I’ll be doing an entire blog post about CBD soon and their amazing products, but in the meantime read their story here.
Think probiotics for your skin. This is the only company I know of that actually has a skin care/beauty products line that is beneficial for your microbiome! If you didn’t know, a lot of leading products these days actually take away the good bacteria that we need to thrive. I am SO excited to dive into these products and learn more about them!
Purely Elizabeth Cauli Hot Cereal
OMG. Maybe one of the ones I’m most excited about! Their granola is some of my favorite on the market, and now they had the genius idea to create a hot cereal (think-oatmeal minus the oats) made of CAULIFLOWER. Guys, this is huge. So stoked for this one to come out!
This brand has been changin the muesli game for awhile, but I got to connect with them this weekend and now I love what they do even more. They are all about making a not so healthy (but seen as healthy) product into something that is good for you. Less sugar and more protein. Absolutely something I can get behind. Plus, it’s delish.
Crazy Richards Peanut Butter Wholly Rollies
Another sample I could’ve eaten 10 more of. These guys have amazing, clean, nut butters, and now they used that as a basis for protein balls. I will definitely be getting a plethora of these as soon as they are released next week!
This is by no means all of the ones I loved from this weekend, and this is in no particular order! I’m sure that I’ll remember about 20 more other brands when I organize my sample bags. But definitely explore all that these guys have to offer-they are game changers in the wellness world! Don’t forget, we all literally vote with our dollar. You can make a difference in your body AND our society simply by choosing to purchase real food with big hearted people standing behind it.
Ps that is Mark Sisson above, creator of Primal Kitchens and essentially the Keto/Paleo god himself. Yes, I fan girled hard.
Gina! You are incredibly inspiring!!
Thank you for sharing your adventure at the expo! Sounds like remarkable things are happening!!