A few weeks ago, I attended the Natural Products Expo West, which is the world's largest natural and organic food and product tradeshow. It can be a bit overwhelming with over 3,000 exhibits at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, but it is a lot of fun! I saw many products using chia seeds, quinoa, seaweed and kale and wanted to share some of my favorites with you!
Here are my top five favorite finds:
1. LaCroix Water: I have been a been a big fan of this brand for a long time and recommend LaCroix to my clients, but I was so thrilled to try the company's delicious new flavor, peach-pear, and hear about all the exciting things it has planned for 2013! This water is unique because it is 100 percent natural sparkling water, made with no artificial sweeteners or ingredients at an affordable price.
(Courtesy of Lacroix Water)
2. Village Harvest’s Whole Grain Creations: These products come in the frozen foods section of the grocery store, and I loved the version with cranberries and almonds. This is a very clever concept for giving consumers new ways to add grains to their diet. The ingredient label is very clean, and this could make a quick and easy side dish or add some more protein to a main course.
3. BELA Sardines: I ate an entire can of these delicious sardines while visiting the company's booth. My favorite are the lemon-flavored sardines in extra-virgin olive oil. With over 1,200 milligrams of omega-3's per 3-ounce serving, sardines trump all other fish with the amount of healthy fish oil they naturally contain. Talk about a great source of protein and omega 3's in this little can of deliciousness! BELA Portuguese gourmet sardines are also wild caught and sustainable.
4. Way Better Snacks: This company has created better-for-you, sprouted tortilla chips using simple ingredients. My favorites were the Simply Sweet Potato and Simply Beyond Black Bean. Organic quinoa, organic flax seeds and organic chia seeds are some of the simple ingredients used to make these sprouted chips.
[See Smart Snacking for Kids.]
5. Organic Valley Grassmilk: This milk is 100 percent grass-fed and, although it has not yet been launched across the country, I was excited to see this new offering. This will be the only 100 percent grass-fed milk produced by a national brand. It comes in whole, 2 percent and fat-free varieties, and all are free of antibiotics and hormones. I do wish the company offered a 1 percent milkfat option as well, so hopefully that will in the future! www.OrganicValley.coop
[See Is Organic Food Better?]
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Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD, is a nationally recognized nutrition and fitness expert who inspires people to lose weight and get fit. Mitzi coauthored, with NFL Future Hall-of-Famer Tony Gonzalez, The All-Pro Diet, which helps people eat clean and get lean. Mitzi is team nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals and served as team nutritionist for the Kansas City Chiefs for several years. A sought-after media source for trusted nutrition and fitness advice, Mitzi has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Shape, Glamour, US Weekly, USA Today, CNN, and FOX News. Mitzi was named one of the "Top 20 Nutrition Experts to Follow on Twitter" by The Huffington Post. Follow Mitzi on Pinterest at NutritionExpert.
Clarified on 03/26/2013: A previous version of this story did not clearly define the product’s name and contents.