September 14, 2018
I woke up this morning wondering why my triceps were SO SORE. I didn't workout yesterday and, Wednesday, tricep work was not even part of my strength routine.
Then it dawned on me.
Omgosh, this is from carrying 3 HUGE (and FULL) bags from the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore yesterday. No joke when people say to bring a rolling bag or suitcase. While I don't think it looks super bougie, it would DEFINITELY have been a lot easier than navigating the convention floor, up and down the thousands of aisles of vendors, and then up and down the escalators/stairs to the various levels of FOOD/LIFESTYLE love!
Seriously, I was in my element. I absolutely LOVED IT...and I am so bummed next year will be the last year in my backyard. Rumor has it it goes to Philadelphia come 2020 due to it outgrowing Baltimore. Ugh, bummer. The last time I attended this event was with my business partner a few years ago. Here we thought it had been 2 years but I am thinking it was more like 4-5 years. Everything seems to be a blur.
I went in to this Expo with a different mindset than I had in previous years, although I did feel like a small fish in a BIG POND. While I was able to get some pictures from inside - it was frowned upon unless you asked each vendor - it is beyond overwhelming. Side Note: I only viewed about 1/4 of the vendors who were in attendance. Although I did not research every vendor that was part of the Expo (and some had not even arrived as of yesterday), I was very strategic as to who I wanted to see, talk to, and, of course, get immersed in all the latest and greatest products out on the market.
As I write this post, I compare it to the likes of being in California and trying to decide where to go workout - there are so many businesses, and no one is really re-inventing the wheel; it is just a matter of a different name and how you connect to the employees, trainers/coaches, and their philosophy. Same goes with the 2 buzzwords on the market - COLLAGEN & TURMERIC. Just in case you need the 411:
Collagen: One of the most abundant proteins in the body, an extra serving of this supplement every day may improve the elasticity of your skin (goodbye cellulite), improve digestion, help strengthen hair, skin, and nails, ease join pain, build muscle & burn fat, and so much more! Good News: the body does create an ample amount of collagen on its own BUT it does slow down as we age. Another reason to consume - it may reverse the signs of aging too!
Turmeric: One of the best spices for overall health & wellness, and getting a TON of attention in the media, this spice is a cancer-fighter, heart helper, immunity booster, anti-inflammatory, and digestive aid!
It seemed that every vendor I talked to, or walked by, seemed to be promoting an item with one of these in some form. Again, no one is re-inventing either one; to me, if I believe in a company's product, it aligns with my own health beliefs, and the founders/employees are friendly and engaging, then I am sold. Speaking of "friendly," there is one company that will remain nameless BUT the woman working behind the display was so incredibly rude to me that I dropped the protein bar wrapper and went on my merry way. It's a shame because I wanted to find out more about the product but I have a hard time wanting to promote an item when being treated this way. It may not be fair, and, hey, I get they have a lot going on behind the scenes, but it's that initial "hook" that is going to make the sale. And, when there are so many similar products on the market - and, honestly, with better ingredients - it's one of those "okay, moving on."
So, back to the whole "I went in to the Expo with a different mindset..." As I made my way past "pushy" salesman trying to get "x,y,z" company to be offered in their stores, I was the one asking "do you work with lifestyle bloggers and influencers?" If you could see the stack of business cards I have for potential partnerships...AHHH, kind of exciting! Keep you posted!
I have taken the last year to educate myself on the brands that I enjoy, the story behind them, and what are in-line with my personal nutritional beliefs and philosophy. These are the companies that I wanted to make a presence with (i.e. face with a name) and how I could be more front and center with them on social media. Here are a few of my go-to brands that I LOVE and look forward to the on-going relationship (thank you Instastories - ha):
Again, these a just a few of the companies who I adore, tout, and, REALLY HOPE to partner with over the coming year (or maybe even weeks/months). There are so many samples of products that I picked up, and people that I chatted with, that I look forward to seeing what this next chapter holds! And, let me tell you, I will be eating my way to the TOP, that is for sure! LOL!
Here is a peek at some of the fabulous loot that was shared. I have tried a couple of the items so far - jury is still out - but I will, for sure, keep you posted! I mean, if you see me start to post a LOT about a certain product, that should give you a pretty good indicator as to what is trending in my kitchen. Plus, I am sending an "Expo Care Package" to my boyfriend who is a foodie himself, and will give his honest opinion on some of these items too.
Think Thin, Bob's Red Mill, Wildway, Purely Elizabeth, Steve's Paleo Goods, Michele's Granola, Lyons Tea, Vital Proteins, Fourth and Heart Ghee Butter, La Tourangelle Artisan Oils, Mayorga Coffee Beans, Picnik Coffee Creamer, NutPods, Perfect Bar, Primal Kitchen, Hail Merry Snacks, Nuzest, & Gym & Tonic
Thrive Culinary Algae Oil, Rufus Teague Sauces, Bobo's, Bulletproof Coffee, Rebbl, Super Coffee, OWYN
Pur, Wild Planet, Once Again, Nuttzo, Barney Butter, and Zevia
Okay, now it is time to go stretch these SORE AS F*%$ triceps! Seriously, the struggle is real and, as one company commented on my Instastories - #expoprobs