Driving rain soaking the high-traffic area around Disneyland did not put a damper on the enthusiasm of healthy industry trend-seekers and retail professionals headed to the festival-like Expo West. Indeed, it was tough to single out a few favourites or stand-outs. However, for the sake of space, here are a few picks to watch for at your neighbourhood natural or organic market.
Real food beauty junkies will adore the Oleumvera DIY Mask Kit, and EWG-verified Makes3organics is at the helm of minimal ingredient personal care products, as is hair care from Seed Phytonutrients. Rael promises to make periods more comfortable and better for the planet with organic sanitary goods and sheet masks.
Vitamins and supplements are always a big deal at the Expo. Though there were plenty of sugary-sweet gummy-vitamins on hand, we loved the more subtly flavoured gummy and liquid formulations from Kal Nutraceutical and MegaFood B12 Energy Ginger Gummies. As tea bags are always a sensible thing for travellers have on hand, it wasn’t hard to be beguiled by Pukka Organic Herbal Teas’ gorgeously packaged boxes of remedy and wellness formulas. Organic SOS Hydration, available in citrus, berry and coconut varieties, were perfect alternatives for traditional bottled energy drinks. They not only come in tiny, ultra-portable packets but also have a quarter of the sugar and electrolytes, and cleanly mix with water for improved rehydration.
We also love guilt-free indulgences, especially GoodPop Cookies ’n’ Cream Frozen Pops and Sejoyia Coco-Thins Snackable Cashew Cookies. Health Lab Protein Balls have the flavour and texture of a cookie bar and a fun round shape, but also the benefits of natural ingredients like whey protein and quinoa. Soy-free and brilliantly packaged Wolo WanderBars, available in several coffee-house baked goods-inspired flavours, are enriched with cold-preventing nutrition (vitamin C and zinc). Foodstirs is especially brilliant: pour these single serving cake mixes into a mug, add water, and bake for a couple minutes in your microwave. Voilà! Fresh, home-baked goodness, and with organic ingredients, too.
Thanks to an overall rethinking of the all-natural pantry, convenience is no longer synonymous with unhealthy. Meal kits from Modern Table are light years past old school Rice-a-Roni. Meanwhile, toss out your canned soups and bagged ramen and instead opt for Australian-made Organic Food Co. organic pumpkin and sweet potato soup, cook-and go meal packets from Wild Zora in chicken curry, chili, and beef stew varieties. Savory Choice rolled out its vegetarian Vietnamese pho-to-go with rice noodles. Skinny Salamis, meanwhile, are excellent alternatives to dry jerky crafted with beef, lamb, and pork, seasoned like merguez, truffles, shawarma, or angus beef.
There was no shortage of fabulous condiments or seasonings, either. One can infuse exiting international flavours into plain everyday foots, as well as help Afghan farmers with Rumi Spice Blends. Make anything from dips to soups and marinades with Haven Row Do Anything Sauces. Traina Home Grown Gourmet Sriracha Ketchup is on spice fanatic Jody’s fave list, as is Good Good Choco Hazel Spread that comes to us from Iceland. Foods Alive Mexican Harvest flax crackers and Better than Ranch superfood dressing were also excellent as far as meal-enhancing extras go.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor, and Jody Miller, Correspondent