September 26, 2019
Happiest of Thursday's YOU! Hope you are reading this pumped for the day, and feeling excited that it is that much closer to the weekend. I know, for me, it is another whirlwind - meetings, clients, computer work, etc. - but I am getting a chance to take a time out and catch up with my massage therapist who I have not seen in FOREVER. Dear God, do I need it!
PEEPS, I wanted to share my experience from a couple weeks ago when I got to attend the annual "Natural Products Expo East" here in Baltimore. As a health and fitness professional, and just an overall foodie, this is, basically, like Christmas! On a sad note, though, this is the last year it will be held in Baltimore. Dang Philly is getting it come next year! For them it's a good thing. I mean, the Expo has expanded that much it has outgrown our convention center. Come on BMORE, let's get it back!
Anyway, this is a great opportunity to meet and introduce yourself to (new) brands that you would like to work and collaborate with, in addition to seeing all the NEW products companies will be rolling out soon. Last year, turmeric was HOT; this year, it is all about the collagen (not that it wasn't last year too) and, guess what, CBD. Go figure! Honestly, that pretty much took over the entire show - CBD, hemp, CBD for your pets, more hemp, and errrmyyyggoooshhh. There was one area which was surrounded by security guards who had to "re-check" your I.D. and badge just to get in. So crazy!
And, no, not my bag so I did not bother to even peruse.
The best part of the whole show - and so bummed I wasn't as disrespectful as most (ha!) - was seeing Katy Perry mingling the convention center. It was one of those, "wait, that looks like Katy Perry," and then, "ahhh, that IS Katy Perry!" Plus, she, definitely, was not worried about going incognito. In true Katy fashion, she wore quite the outfit. See for yourself!
Btw, my comment before; I was trying to be polite, respect her space, and not be one of those "can I get a picture with you?" As it turns out, she is good friends with Patricia Bragg of the Bragg line of products. Their Apple Cider Vinegar and Liquid Amino Acids are legit. Oh, and doesn't the guy in the picture look like he is wearing a dixie cup on his head? LOL!
With over thousands of vendors - geez, it could be more like 10,000 - the expo can be exhausting and, definitely, should be done over the course of the 3 days it is in town. Don't I already look tired in the picture below, and that was me prior to entering. Technically, it is a 4 day show, but the 1st day is for VIP's. Where was my invite? ;) If my memory serves correct, the first year, I went with a game plan; I had it mapped out, knew who/what I wanted to see, and was more strategic. Last year, it was 3 bags full of FREE product and I still think some were chilling in my cabinet a few weeks ago. This year, it was more just to peruse, chat with my "go-to's," and try to make connections.
So, who were my big "2019" winners? Here is just a sampling of the brands that I adore, just introduced to, and those I hope to work with in the future!
Bob's Red Mill: Their granola, baking products, and gluten free oats & polenta are my jam!
BeBold Bars: Love this new bar by the founder of "Stacy's Pita Chips." Why I am smitten? The ingredients are 100% CLEAN! Nut butters mixed with oats, Brazil nuts, walnuts, chocolate chips, chia, maple syrup, and wildflower honey.
4th & Heart Ghee Butter: This "clarified butter" has my heart. Hands down, the best on the market!
Primal Kitchen: From their collagen fuel protein powder & bars, to their line of dressings, mayos, and sauces, this company is ALWAYS a winner!
Vital Proteins: LOVE their collagen, and loved trying out their new line of bars, water, and their performance series products.
Siete Family Foods: What more can I say than "ole!" They have been a game changer for me when it comes to loving clean, healthy Mexican! Their tortillas, tortilla chips, and queso are out of this world! Can't wait to try their new line of enchilada sauce too!
All in all, another successful year! I guess this means I will have to make a trip to Philadelphia in 2020! Bring on 'da soft pretzels!
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