Natural Products Expo West

I attended the Natural Products Expo West today. I don’t even know where to begin. I have no idea how to explain the amazingness that is this natural food expo. Amaze.natural products expo west

The Natural Products Expo West 2010 is being held at the Anaheim Convention Center. There are over 3,000 exhibitors! It’s just across the street from Disneyland and a hop skip and jump away from our place.

anaheim convention center

Annelies from Attune knows I live in Orange County monica and annaliesand the expo is pretty close, so she invited me to attend in exchange for a few hours of my time. Melissa and I walked around the expo handing out stickers. IMG_0022 (1024x683)

Then, we were set free in the expo – it was massive = 3 halls plus downstairs!

This place is like Disneyland, only happier.

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Since I gave up sweets for Lent it was brutal to have to pass up all the desserts. I justified a few that I really wouldn’t consider dessert in “real life”.

But, when we got to the Vitatop booth I may have shed a tear. My tastebuds ache.

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I managed to white knuckle it past the Vitatop and ice cream combo, but insisted Melissa try it.

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I’ll see you soon Vitas. Wait for me.

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There were a lot of familiar brands and TONS and TONS of samples…

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Alexa had a hooked up booth with sweet potato fries, harvest medley and sweet potato puffs. So good.

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Oh – a familiar face, just not in real life. Hi Jillian.

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I didn’t take a picture of all the samples I tried, but did get the high lights.

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I don’t know why I never make quinoa. I love this stuff!

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The new Luna bar flavors were here too – this is Chocolate Chunk!IMG_0042 (1024x683)IMG_0044 (1024x683)IMG_0045 (1024x683)

Melissa raved about the Mint Chocolate ice cream. Probably to stick it to me Winking smile

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But, I didn’t miss out at all. There were loads and loads of other amazing goodies – everything from mango coated almonds…

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and Honey Stinger gels – in chocolate (this is my favorite running gel)

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to Rice Mac N’ Cheese (it’s good)!IMG_0055 (1024x683)

So many good companies and loads of amazing, top-of-the-line chocolate! It’s a huge seller with the “healthy, but I still refuse to give up chocolate” crowd. Are you a member?

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I made a lot of friends too! Tim with Tangos Tortilla chips was very cool. He says he doesn’t have a Facebook page, but wanted to be on RER.

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I ate A LOT of pizza samples – there were so many different kinds. I like pizza. I like A LOT of pizza. I like pizza A LOT. All different, but yet all very true.

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So.

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Many.

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Samples.

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The Natural Products Expo isn’t just about food – they had a ton of booths with natural products. They had lotions, soaps, supplements and more!

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These are deep dish cookies with a chocolate center on the left. Apple strudel thing on the right. IMG_0074 (1024x683)

Out of all the booths in all the world – I had to walk into this one…

Chobani is my favorite! They had ALL their flavors and I picked the Honeynana. I also had a good chat with some of the employees. Everyone is super friendly and seems to love their job! I would too if I worked for the best yogurt co. in the world!

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Food Should Taste Good. I think we all agree on that.

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The other day I was at my mom’s and offered my brother (the 23 year old, not the 10 year old) a grilled cheese. He said, “Hell yeah I want a grilled cheese!” Ben and I keep saying it now Smile

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I tried to score one of these mugs, but they weren’t for sale. It was from a cake company and the mugs were a prop. I want one.

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Steaz had a complimentary Happy Hour. IMG_0086 (1024x683)I now love this company. They know how to have a good time.

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Before I left I made sure to make a build-your-own-bowl of cereal from Attune. You’ll see it tomorrow (if I don’t chomp it all tonight).

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I got so many amazing samples and coupons! All day I kept telling Melissa, “We are so lucky!!!” I was really happy and grateful to attend this expo today. IMG_0093 (1024x683)

I don’t know how I’m going to ever attend a regular ol’ race expo again. Today completely rocked my world. I was very sad to leave, but they were basically kicking us out.

I had to say good-bye to my favorite treat company first…

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Even though I was sampling all day I still didn’t feel full. Maybe it was because I ran 13.75 miles and then walked around the expo for 6 hours straight?!

Anyways, Ben suggested a local Mexican place for dinner and I agreed.

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His dinner was steamy!

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Mine was dreamy Smile Chili Relleno.

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The running and walking around has really got to me. My feet and legs are killing me. I’ll see you guys in the morning Smile

Comments

  1. Katie R says

    Monica,
    I’m totally jealous that you were able to attend the Expo. I had looked into attending, but I was bummed to read on its website that it is not open to the general public. Lucky you for having an in! Enjoy the samples! I look forward to reading more about the products you received.

  2. says

    This sounds like SOO much fun! A foodies paradise! I am going to the Fancy Food Show in July and I can’t wait. Hours of the best and newest fabulous foods on the market…..what could be better. :)

  3. kristen says

    Holy cow! The expo looked incredible!! Youre on lucky lady!

    And props to you for being able to pass up sweets while you were there! i would have caved!

  4. sarah keegan says

    Expo West is awesome! My husband has been there for the past three days, hopefully he brings me a care package. I was there two years ago and hope to go next year when our daughter is not an out of control toddler (she would last maybe one lap in the stroller) and I can actually enjoy walking around. Glad you were able to go!

  5. says

    I like that among all of the food photos in snuck a DivaCup pic! I’v never heard of or seen one before, and after going to the website, I’m not sure I want to! It looks like you had a good time, I wish we had something like that in my area!

  6. says

    This looks like heaven! I love expos–walking around getting samples is SO fun and I am introduced to things I would never have seen/tried otherwise. We go to the Boston Marathon expo every year, even though we dont run it–because its too fun to miss!!

  7. says

    I went to the Portland VegFest for the first time last year and it was AWESOME! So many samples and so much schwag and coupons. Although, it was a much smaller event than that!

  8. says

    I just looked online at the Expo site and got super jealous. I was trying to think of a clever way to get inside the expo today but couldn’t think of anything. Looks like so much fun. I love free samples and coupons.

  9. Karen says

    It was so cool meeting you yesterday. But sorry if I freaked you out a little. I was celebrity-struck…and you are even more beautiful in person! Glad you enjoyed the show. It looks like you got to see even more than I did :)

  10. Maren says

    I heard so much about Expo West, I am sooo jealous you got to go!! and WAY TO GO not eating all sweets in sight!! That’s awesome girl! If you can get through that many temptations, the next month+ is going to be a breeze!

  11. says

    sorry we didnt get a chance to meet up!! i got pretty exhausted on friday and left by lunch on saturday. it was still the best weekend ever! swag up the hoo-ha!

  12. says

    I would be in complete happiness going to something like this! How awesome!! Ahhhhhhh vita tops!! Yup those I know you love! Love the pic of you with the big sign!

    • says

      Hi Sarah,
      I was contacted to attend by a company, but heard about it before that. I don’t remember how I first heard about it though, so I’m kinda no help.

  13. says

    Uh, can you take me in your suitcase next time!!??? I could only DREAM of going to one of these…heck, I am dreaming for just a simple trip to Whole Foods at this point! I hope Germany has a lot more health food options and all natural stores/resources than Okinawa! Can I also just mention how jealous I am of you living in Anaheim…..I always wish (and nag) about us going to Cali to settle down after we leave Germany (that is when the Hub is done his 20 years with the military)….I need ocean, sun, beaches, and outdoor activities in order to thrive…California has always been my dream; hence, going there as much as humanly possible when stationed in Vegas!!

  14. says

    the Expo looks amazing…I just checked it out and Natural Expo East is being held here in Baltimore…now if I can just find a way in..lol..I am a totally rockin sticker hander outer…lol…

  15. says

    Fun stuff! I used to go to the expo when I worked at one of the convention hotels in Anaheim.

    They would give us day passes and back then, I didn’t know too much about healthy food so I didn’t appreciate it as I would very much appreciate it today.

    I remember only looking for ice cream in the aisles and trying to get as many samples as we can.

    Did you see any all natural lollipops with bugs in center? I ate those at the expo.

  16. Lisa says

    I was at the show too but must have missed your booth! So sad, those bowls look perfect for carrying cereal. My boyfriend is a nut broker and goes to every single food show, so I try to tag along to as many as I can. Unfortunately, but the time I got there he was sick of walking around, so I got the shaft on the hand outs. I always tell him that I want to live at the food show, best day of the year! …except for the part where I eat to many samples and get a stomach ache :)

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