Natural Products Expo West!

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ew16-logo-lgIf you are unaware of the Natural Products Expo West, you can learn more about it at their website, here. It’s the largest convention of its nature in the world. It took over the entire Anaheim Convention Center, two floors at the Hilton and all the ballrooms at the Marriott. This event was huge. From a vendor standpoint, I would bet that this had more vendors than San Diego Comic Con. Just so much to take in.

To give you all an accurate depiction of my experience, I need to mention that I did not enjoy myself at this event. And it was mostly my own fault. I’ve written that my favorite things about most cons are the panels, and I did not go to a single one. A lot of the panels were on the development of GMOs, labeling, and advancements in the supplement industry. I am really interested in all of those things. And for some reason, I’m not really sure what, I just didn’t go. I walked around the show floors, which is my least favorite thing about cons!

So, aside from my own personal mistake about not doing what I enjoy, the event was also right next to Disneyland and California Adventure. To be honest, planning a huge convention near two huge amusement parks just makes for a crazy ridiculous traffic situation. To paint you a picture, I drove from Los Angeles and that took me an hour…then once I got off the freeway, it took me another 90 minutes to get to my parking lot. Yeah, going 3 miles from freeway to parking lot took longer than 30 miles from LA to Anaheim. I should have left earlier. The traffic was so bad, I only went Friday and skipped going Saturday and Sunday.

Now it wasn’t all bad. I met some really amazing people, tried some amazing products, and maybe even made a few new friends. So I will you the highlights of the products that made an impact on me and where you can find them.

IMAG1458Natural Force

These guys, Joe and Justin, know what they are doing when it comes to supplements. They told me their products spent over a year in R&D before they launched in 2009. All their products have various certifications such as organic, non-gmo, paleo, or gluten free. Their products don’t have the fillers that some other supplements have. Joe and Justin were awesome to speak with and provided me with some samples to try out. I’m planning on using their pre-workout Organic Matcha Ignite powder next month and doing a review of the 20 day supply.

IMAG1457Red Duck Ketchup

One may not realize the differences in ketchup and bbq sauce. Once you try their different sauces, you’ll be hooked. All sauces have minimally added sugar which is actually very important considering the amount that is usually added in mass marketed ketchups and bbq sauces.

You are loved foods

These snacks were amazing. Many are vegan friendly, paleo, non-gmo, dairy and soy free, and made with less than one gram of sugar per serving. These treats would have come in handy last holiday season when I gave someone chocolates and he looked at me and said, “I’m diabetic.” To be fair, it was an acquaintance I didn’t know at all, but still awkward. The cupcakes and truffles were excellent. If you like to eat clean and like to reward yourself, or are diabetic, these are for you.

IMAG1456Designer Protein

Now to be honest, I haven’t tried these products yet. However, my conversation with the two reps at their booth was excellent. The protein is either whey or plant based. If you are into clean eating and living, these are great proteins based on the ingredients list. My one thing is the protein ratio is not has high as I would like. If you are into serious lifting, you may need two or three servings to get the amount of protein to fit your macros.

Yes Cacao

Yes Cacao was such a fun find. Talking with Justin, the Minister of Chocolate (actual job title) was great. We had a lot in common and it was just such a good convo. I hope to have him on the podcast at some point. Now, the cacao is mixed with other botanicals, herbs and whatnot. The reason for this is because the cacao is the delivery system for the botanicals. Cacao expands your blood vessels. Such a unique concept…and the samples they gave me totally satisfied my dessert cravings!

IMAG1452Chickpeatos

To be honest, I did not like these at first. Mostly because I am not a crunchy snack type of guy. However, I took my sample of Tomato Basil Chickpeatos, crushed them up, and used them as breading for a chicken breast. It was delicious! Added just the right amount of flavor. Chickpeatos actually has a bread crumb option, so I took the cue from them. Give it a try.

IMAG1449Those are the brands that made an impact on me. Like I said, I was having a very rough go of it, but it was still a good experience. Then I walked outside and within 2 minutes I was caught in a downpour. I think I rock the “soaked cat” look. Until next time, #WorkOutNerdOut

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