Expo East 2017

What’s New and Exciting in food, beverage, and self-care

There was a lot to digest mentally and physically at Expo East 2017 this past week. And I’m sharing what’s new and exciting at Expo East 2017.

When I travel, I don’t go anywhere without a bag of snacks…but this past week I went to Baltimore, MD for Expo East 2017 and came with zero food, but left with 4 bags full of granola, bars, drinks and chocolate! That’s Expo East for you; it’s a 3 day event where brands in the natural, organic and healthy industry gather to share new and exciting products.

There were brands ranging in supplements, specialty foods, beauty, pet food, and natural living. It was product overload as you walked the 4 floors of the Baltimore Convention Center tasting and smelling all the food and chatting with all of the brand representatives. But as a media blogger, recipe creator, and meal prep enthusiast, this was a great opportunity for me to see what was new in the health and wellness industry, and to catch-up with my favorites that I love to support.

So continue reading below to check out what’s new and exciting at Expo East 2017!

These are a few of my favorite things!

I started every morning at the Vital Proteins truck which was parked right outside the Baltimore Convention Center. They were serving up collagen smoothies, bone broth, matcha and coffee with their new collagen creamer. My friends and I grabbed a smoothie every morning made with unsweetened almond milk and the dark chocolate & blackberry collagen. I absolutely love the unflavored collagen peptides, but since I don’t add milk or creamer to my coffee, it’s been nice to add a bit of flavor in the new Vital Proteins collagen line, including vanilla and dark chocolate & blackberry!


After a collagen pick-me up, we had tomato sauce for breakfast on the first day. I can never say no to Raos, especially the arrabiata sauce. It’s the only brand of tomato sauce I cook with because it’s made with real ingredients and doesn’t have any added sugar like many tomato sauces do! And the flavor of every single homemade sauce can’t be beat!

I ate tacos and tortillas on #tacothursday

You can’t go to a health and wellness expo without eating all of your favorite foods. That includes Siete Foods grain free tortilla chips and tortillas. I think I came back to this booth multiple times every day because I wanted to say hi to the amazing family behind the brand and to eat my favorite Lime cassava flour tortilla chips. The love that this family has for the products, for each other and for the community radiates and they deliver high quality food and experiences.

Fire Cider Gut Health

We’ve all heard we should take a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning to jump start our digestion. Fire Cider has been my go to for gut health with their raw, organic and healthy gut shots. The ingredients haven’t changed, but look at this amazing new packaging. Fire Cider underwent a package revamp and I absolutely love the new bold and colorful look that matches the bold and flavorful product!

Georgia Grinder Nut Butter

It wouldn’t be a food event without some nut butter. And my new favorite brand is Georgia Grinders, especially the addictive maple almond nut butter and pecan butter! I love that these nut butters don’t have any added sugars and because they’re produced in small batches, they are extremely fresh and flavorful.

Anita’s Full-Fat Coconut Milk Yogurt

It’s been years since I’ve had a cup of yogurt and many of the dairy-free alternatives taste terrible. But Anita’s Yogurt is a serious game changer in the industry. It is a coconut milk yogurt packed with billions of live cultures. But it’s not just the health benefits that make it incredible, it’s the flavor and texture. It’s extremely thick and creamy and since it is full-fat, it will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

And it has so much versatility; you can use it as a creme fraiche alternative to top your homemade sweets and treats with, as the base for a creamy dressing or mayo, or in your favorite smoothie. And Anita is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, which makes the yogurt even more delicious!

What’s New and Exciting at Expo East 2017


Wildway of Life Smoothie Bowl Starter Mix

Some of my favorite brands had exciting new product releases. One of the new products I am most excited about is Wildway of Life’s new Smoothie Bowl Starter Mix.

I have been a HUGE fan of Wildway granola and hot cereal products for a long time. I also absolutely love the people behind the products, a wonderful couple that is fun, super nice and really invested in their product and the community that supports them. They have revamped the packaging on their granola travel packs and have rolled out these new smoothie bowl mixes.

The brand is built on being paleo friendly — so grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and whey free. And now the Restore, Recover, Recharge and Relax smoothie mixes can provide healthy and satisfying food without all the junk. The range of mixes include egg white protein, collagen, adaptogens (think reish mushroom), and probiotics. This is functional food at its tastiest and a product launch that I am extremely excited about!

Grandy Oats Grain-Free Granola

It is a rare thing to find a granola without rolled oats. But when I do, and it tastes amazing, I get really excited. I first tasted Grandy Oats grain-free granola a few weeks ago and I was excited to see them at Expo East. The company has been around since 1979 creating organic, small batch granola and trail mixes. What’s even more impressive is that the entire factory is solar paneled.

The grain-free granola comes in 3 flavors (hemp, original and chocolate) and is sweetened with maple syrup. The chocolate flavor isn’t paleo though because it does contain soy (from the chocolate), but it is exciting to see another granola without oats!

Kitchfix Grain Free Waffles

I grew up saying “L’eggo my Eggo,” but since starting to follow a paleo/anti-inflammatory lifestyle, I eliminated grains and gluten from my diet, and there went the waffles. Sure, I make my own waffles, but what about those mornings when I don’t want to cook or clean, or just need to grab something fast, but nutritious. Kitchfix has just launched a delicious grain-free, paleo friendly boxed waffle. I loved the original, because it makes for a perfect blank food canvas to add all the granola, nut butter and maple syrup for a healthy and indulgent meal!

Share Bar

Steve’s Paleogoods has released a new paleo friendly snack, Share Bar! They’re grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and don’t contain any refined sugar (sweetened with dates and apple juice infused fruits). And they contain probiotics, making these snacks gut healthy. Right now they’re available in in blueberry and strawberry vanilla flavors.

What’s the share? When you buy a share bar, Steve’s Paleogoods will share one with a child in need. So get your gut health snacking on, and give it to someone else as well.

Good Seed Hempseed Burgers

I love a delicious burger. But sometimes I’m not always in the mood for meat. But all of the veggie burgers on the market are made with legumes, which I personally do not consume because they cause inflammation in my body. So I’ve never been able to enjoy a veggie burger. Well, thanks to Good Seed, now I can! There are 2 flavors that are grain-free, using hemp as the source of protein; curried sweet potato and wild mushroom & cauliflower. The flavor was unbelievable and I would love to eat these delicious veggie burgers when I’m not in the mood for heavy meat ones.

Thrive Tribe Paleo Cookies & Snacks

Paleo and cookies are a hard combination to come by. Thrive Tribe has created a line of products that are gluten and grain free, dairy free, soy free and refined sugar free! And they’re packed with superfoods like reishi mushroom, chia, hemp, turmeric and even ashwagandha. What really attracted me to the Thrive Tribe booth at Expo was the holiday cookie line. I usually can’t take part in the PSL craze, but these paleo cookies are about to be on repeat all season long!

Safecatch Foods Travel Pouches

Safecatch Foods is a leader in the industry when it comes to canned tuna. They test every tuna for mercury and have the lowest mercury among every brand! They launched a new line of premium spice blend tuna cans earlier this year with flavors including tandoori, citrus pepper, garlic herb and chili lime. And now these products will soon be available in the 3 oz. pouches, which make taking healthy food on the go even easier!

The Real Coconut Chips

Tortilla chips are always made with corn…but not anymore. The Real Coconut is breaking the mold with these coconut flour tortilla chips that are extremely flavorful and crunchy! I also love the story behind these products; The Real Coconut started as a restaurant at Sanara Tulum that featured gluten, grain, dairy, soy and refined sugar free menu options. Now, the brand is expanding into packaged foods to bring the flavors from Tulum to consumers all over the world. Coconut flour tortilla chips and tortilla wraps are now available in select stores. And The Real Coconut restaurants will soon be opening in select We Work location in L.A. and NYC.

Bao Cultured Fermented Foods

With all the granola and nut butter at Expo East, it was nice to find some gut friendly products. Bao Cultured had delicious and nutritious cultured vegetables that also contained probiotics to give your gut an even bigger boost of digestive health. I absolutely loved the “Green Slaw” which contained organic kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, pears, ginger, apples and garlic. It was truly like eating a fermented salad!


Yai’s Thai Condiments

Bold flavor and fresh ingredients without the added junk make Yai’s Thai my new favorite condiments. I mean I can’t say no to almond sauce for cauliflower stir fry’s or how about salsa on your salads for an extra dose of veggies (and dressing). They’re all Whole30 approved which means there’s no added sugar and additives, gluten, corn, dairy or soy! Oh and they just won the NEXTY Award for New Special Diet Food at Expo East! Make sure you grab a bottle (I recommend one of everything) and add some incredible flavor to your food!

Primal Kitchen Foods Balsamic Vinegar

Another brand I love supporting is Primal Kitchen Foods. Every product they have promotes a way of living that is focused on real food that supports our health and wellness through lifestyle. Mark Sisson founded this company to help people make healthier food choices so they could live their healthiest and happiest life.

The newest product launch is Balsamic Vinegar dressing, which joins a wonderful line-up of dressing including Greek Vinaigrette, Ranch, Caesar, Honey Mustard and Green Goddess. I have never been able to find a Balsamic Vinegar dressing without sulfites, or sugar or artificial coloring. So Primal Kitchen has a game changing product in the natural products world!

Big Tree Farms Coconut Aminos

I love coconut aminos! I seriously put it on everything including eggs, stir-fry, and it’s a great salad dressing! There aren’t many choices when it comes to coconut amino brands and I was excited to see Big Tree Farms coming out into the market; and they have the Whole30 stamp of approval which I absolutely love because it takes the guess work out of knowing if something is allergen friendly and sugar free!

Not only is the product delicious and nutritious, but Big Tree Farms mission to work with smallholder farmers to improve their own livelihoods is inspiring.


La Croix La Cola

With all the eating I was doing, I needed something refreshing to sip on. La Croix has made a huge impact in the beverage industry with the zero sweetener, zero calorie sparkling water products with a variety of flavor options. The newest flavor is La Cola, a revolutionary cola beverage without any additives.

Bonafide Provisions Drinkable Veggies

We’ve all drank our fruits before, but now we’re going to be drinking our veggies. Bonafide Provisions has taken their incredible gut healing bone broth and added nutritious vegetables to create nourishing drinkable veggies. These drinks are great for on the go because they’re packed with organic vegetables and chicken bone broth, contain protein, collagen, and no sugar or additives. They’re also a great way to get your daily servings of vegetables, especially in the colder months if a salad is not your thing! My favorite was “Revive” made with carrots, onion, lemon, fennel, salt and bone broth!

Organic India and Prevention team up for new wellness teas

I love Organic India teas; they are flavorful and don’t contain any additives, only the best in herbs and adaptogens to support your healthy lifestyle. Organic India teamed up with Prevention for a new line of teas: balance, immunity and thrive. They’ve got tulsi (holy basil) and probiotics to support your gut, immune system and boost energy so you can live your healthiest life.

Hu Kitchen Clean Coffee

I live in NYC, so I have the privilege of eating at Hu Kitchen often. I love their mission to get back to the foods that nourish our bodies by eating clean, unprocessed foods without additives, chemicals, dairy, gluten and soy! Did you know that coffee is one of the most chemically treated crops in the world? Well Hu Kitchen is now launching their Clean Coffee for you to take home so you don’t have to live in NYC to get back to human!

Teaonic gets a modern name change!

Teaonic is a natural, organic and unsweetened herbal tea. They’re perfect for on the go and since they’re bottled, you don’t have to worry about combining specific herbs for certain health benefits, or waiting for your tea to steep and cool. I have been drinking teaonic for awhile now, but there was one controversial product, “I Love My Skinny Body” that got a name change. This herbal tea blend is meant to help consumers maintain a healthy weight. But in the modern world of body shaming and body positivity, the “skinny body” product name wasn’t sitting well with consumers. So Teaonic is now promoting an “I Love My Body” label.

Personal Care Essentials

Expo East wasn’t just about the food we eat, but also about the products we use in our daily lives that help us support a healthy and well lifestyle.

Oral Essentials Whitening Strips

We all do it..I hope! We brush out teeth at least once, maybe twice a day because we all want that fresh breath, and clean mouth. But all of the mainstream toothpaste and mouthwash products are just filled with chemicals, alcohol, dyes and extremely toxic ingredients. Oral Essentials has created a line of oral care products made with natural ingredients including dead sea salt, aloe vera, and essential oils. And the new Whitening Strips will brighten your smile without causing tooth damage. And after my first use, I definitely saw a shinier, cleaner and healthier appearance to my teeth!

Beessential Body Care

What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in it. And Beessential has wonderful natural skin care products including lip balm, body wash, shampoo/conditioner and this new deodorant. It contains activated charcoal which is effective in absorbing up to 1,000 times its weight in moisture so you can stay dry and cooler longer!

Napz All Natural Sleep Aid

I usually have trouble falling asleep, and even staying asleep. My mind is racing at a mile a minute with so many things I have to do and I can’t turn it off. But I was able to check out Napz all-natural sleep aid at Expo East and I used it while I was staying at the hotel for three nights and slept really great! I was able to fall asleep, but most importantly I didn’t wake up feeling groggy. I actually felt rested!

Gaia Mushroom + Herbs

I love Gaia herbs and take a few of the supplements from this brand. They are organic, high quality, and extremely transparent in where the herbs you’re consuming come from. Did you know you can enter the ID number located on any Gaia Herbs box to trace every herbal aspect of your supplement? This brand truly is the leader in herbal health.

And at Expo East I found out about the new Mushrooms + Herbs Products. There are many different health benefits to mushrooms and the Everyday Immune supplement uses the power of Maitake, Reishi, Chaga and Cordyceps to support the entire body.

Earth Circle Organics Superfoods

Superfoods are the new health and wellness buzzword. And in a sea of modern, and sometimes boring looking packaging, Earth Circle Organics really stands out. They are organic, raw, minimally processed, and provide individuals with vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants. I personally use the Red Maca Powder and it can be added to smoothies, water, and protein bar recipes!

Home Essentials

Grab Green Home Products

Home care products are contaminated with chemicals and we are constantly breathing in, or absorb ing these terrible ingredients through our skin. But Grab Green has created a line of home care products that are non-toxic, and also effective! So that means no ammonia, dyes or solvents. And the fragrances come from essential oils like lavender, vetiver, gardenia and vanilla. These are products you can feel comfortable using, knowing that you are not causing any harm to your body or home.

Originally published at www.balancedlife-leslie.com on September 17, 2017.