My day at Expo East

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Expo East for one day. I follow many different bloggers from the “real food” and “paleo” world and I had heard about Expo West this past spring out in California and longingly wished to be able to go to check out new products and goods coming out but 1.It was in California and 2.You have to be in the natural food world whether as a retailer or blogger or product producer, etc and none of those were me anyways. Well fast forward several months and after reading through a Whole 30 email post they wrote about being at Expo East in Baltimore in September and it really peaked my interest seeing as Baltimore is only 25 minutes away from where I live. So I checked in to it and the expo had the same stipulations as Expo West as to who could go. I had my blog, but I’m definitely not big by any means in my readership or reach right now. It will hopefully continually grow, but I’m not anywhere near the readership of the people I follow who I heard about the expo from so I didn’t really think that would be an option for me to go, but there was an ability for medical practitioners to buy a pass and being a Physio I was able to buy one and go check it out! So for looking at health products potentially for my patients and also getting to check out all the new natural and health food products, I was in.

.

I was able to send my little guy back to his old Daycare for the day and I got peruse the convention center without interruption. While there I was talking to a vendor and they stated that this expo was about 3x smaller than expo west and I cannot even imagine how many vendors where there and I would have definitely needed more than one day to go through it all. I really could have used two days to check out Expo East, but was really glad I at least got to go for one day.

The expo took up the whole convention center. There are 4 floors and 3 out of the 4 had vendors in them. The third and fourth floors were the “hot products” pavilions and the booths were a little bigger but still had a lot of vendors. The second floor was mainly all educational sessions (I believe) which I did not attend and then the first floor was the other area with all the other vendors and was huuuuge and had so many different companies and booths to walk by/through. I have attended the APTA’s (American Physical Therapy Association) big yearly combined sections meeting and that’s big and the exhibit hall is a lot to take in and go through, but this was seemed so much bigger (and probably was). I was there from when the vendor halls opened in the morning at 9:30am till almost 2:30pm. Towards the end of my day I didn’t feel like I had done a lot, but then I looked at my Fitbit and was at almost 13,000 steps for the day. I wasn’t quick, but I was on my feet and constantly moving all day – and walking back to the car and sitting in my car riding home my right low back/SI and side was telling me so. That’s normally where I feel the most discomfort when I am more active, but it wasn’t too bad thankfully.

.

I didn’t eat too big of a breakfast and actually never even had a formal lunch. There were so many samples to try and multitude of food options that I didn’t even need to. I tried to be careful and not over-do it especially with sweet foods and I did pretty good. My stomach felt a little off in the evening, but really not too shabby for all the different foods I tried. It was fun to meet and see many of the owners of companies/products that I love and also see some of the new products they are going to be launching. It also was nice to try some products that I’ve been too apprehensive to purchase in the store because I’m afraid I won’t like it and they’re normally not the cheapest items around. I value mine and my families health and I do my share of buying items to try them out, but I also try to be smart and really only try out items that I’ve head something similar and know I will enjoy or it really sounds good. One of the items that I really liked that I had wanted to try but had been on the fence about buying myself was drinkable veggies. The traditional drinkable veggie – V8 – was never anything I liked and I’ve always been wary of trying a gazpacho soup also, so I was just apprehensive. There were two main companies that I tried of drinkable veggies: Zupa noma and Bonafide Provisions. I am kicking myself because I didn’t try all the flavors, but I did try several of each and I was pleasantly surprised because they were really good. I’m excited to buy them occasionally and have on hand as a good “snack” option to hold me over between meals or even as something to eat eventually during labor as having good nutrient base, calorie profile and easy to get down since you drink them. The flavors that I tried of Zupa that I really enjoyed were the Yellow pepper turmeric and tomato gazpacho. Bonafide provisions (they also sell bone broth and use it with their veggies) that I enjoyed were Renew and Revive.

Side note – most of my pictures were taken from my instagram stories, so they’re not the best and will most likely have words and hashtags and such on them. I didn’t get pictures of everything so I may grab stills from websites also.

.

There were definitely trends in a lot the products. Many companies are adding collagen to their products and matcha tea is very popular right now. There was also a lot of chickpea stuff and popcorn. I don’t feel the best with legumes so I didn’t try much (any?) of the chickpea products. I got to try a really good bottled matcha tea drink by Matcha Bar. It was super smooth tasting and even the plain without excess sweetener had great flavor. I was super excited to take a full bottle home with me, but stupidly put it in the freezer with dry ice on the way home and it exploded (extreme sad face emoji). I will be on the look out to buy it again for sure. Vital proteins also is coming out with a matcha collagen and I got to try that mixed with coconut milk and it was also really good. It’ll be on my list of items to buy from them. I love their collagen and got to take two of their travel collagen peptide packets. I love adding it to my morning coffee or smoothie as an added protein boost without added flavor. I also think it really helps my nails, hair and skin a lot.

So sad 🙁

.

Another food that I love to use daily and try different varieties of is ghee. Tin Star foods had their ghee their, which I love and have used in the past. Another company I got to try was 4th & Heart. They are coming out with a chocolate ghee and it was to die for. They also have flavored ghee and I loved the California Garlic flavor. I was able to get a small travel packet of it and I cannot wait to buy some.

.

I had been looking for Fire Cider in my local health foods stores and couldn’t find it, so I was super happy to find the Fire Cider booth and talk to the ladies there. They were so nice and great to talk to and I was able to get a small bottle to trial at home and found out where I should look to buy it in stores. Fire Cider is an ACV drink/tonic that is kicked up a notch. They have different varieties but the one I tried has honey, oranges, lemons, onions, ginger, horseradish, garlic, turmeric, and habanero pepper. You can drink it as a quick shot or dilute it in water. It has a serious kick and I have been taking it as quick shot for an immune boost and also to help with the wonderful acid reflux that I’ve been getting with being pregnant.

.

I love finding options for snacks that aren’t always sweet. Don’t get me wrong I love a piece of dark chocolate or candy of some sort, but sometimes I’m just craving salty and 4505 Meats had several flavors of pork rinds and they were delicious. I’ve never really had pork rinds (chicharrones) as truthfully I thought they sounded kind of gross, but I really like them and the BBQ flavor was so good.

.

I have been eating Siete tortilla chips for months now and love them. They are a great gluten free alternative to regular tortilla chips and I don’t think you can tell the difference at all. They are actually my tortilla chip of preference. The lime is my favorite (they have original, lime and nacho flavor). I was able to try their gluten free tortilla varieties and I was super impressed. The almond flour one was most like traditional flour tortilla but I liked them all and the cassava and coconut was my favorite (they also have a cassava + chia tortilla).

.

Wild Friends nut butters were SO good. The picture below is a new product of oats + a packet of nut butter and it was divine. I can’t wait to purchase some for my pantry.

.

There were several nut milk companies and I didn’t try them all, but several of them and Elmhurst really stood out to me. Each milk (they have unsweetened and sweetened varieties) had a simple and clean flavor and you could actually taste the nut that it was made of. It reminded me of making homemade nut milk but without all the work. We generally use almond milk at home and both the sweetened and unsweetened varieties were great and then as a treat I tried the chocolate milked peanuts and mmmmm is all I have to say about that!

For reference here is a picture of the ingredient list of their milks. Like I said – simple – and really good.

.

And last, but not not least Serenity Kids baby food. We did baby led weaning (BLW) with our little guy, but we did and still do give him pouch food from time to time with traveling nor when we needed a meal in a pinch. Any of the meat varieties always made me cringe and I could never bring myself to actually give him them, but at tim I wanted a good no filler/weird ingredient protein option in a pouch. Well now there’s Serenity Kids, and yes guys, I actually tried a taste of the three flavors and they weren’t bad at all. The product are launching this fall and I can’t wait. The creator/owners of the company were also wonderful ladies to talk to and I cannot wait to support their business and know I’m giving my kiddo quality food on the go.

.

.

So there ya have it! I know I’m probably missing a brand or two that I really liked, but this is a pretty good round up of my top favorites. Definitely check out their websites and if you try any of them or have tried them let me know what you think! I’m so happy I got to go and it just helped to reinvigorate me to seek out good, delicious, & quality brands that are working to improve the quality of food products for myself and my family.

<3 – Brittany

Leave a Reply