It’s interesting to reflect on how my approach to an expo hall has evolved. As a college student, I felt compelled to visit each and every vendor, which left me feeling nauseous and ready for a nap. These days I plan my time well beforehand and set a budget for my stomach space. If a company listed in the guide excites me, I circle it on the map and seek it out the next day. I practiced this exercise recently at the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Here are the highlights.
New Ways to Eat Your Veggies
I’m always in search of new ways to expand my vegetable repertoire, so was glad to see Super Kale Cut N’ Clean Greens, which come in a variety of preparations. The chef explained that a key to enjoying raw kale was to let it rest and tenderize in vinaigrette for 15 minutes prior to eating.
The mushroom people dished up this scrumptious taco meat recipe, using minced mushrooms to replace some of the meat and reduce calories and saturated fat. I’ve used this technique in meatloaf and look forward to trying it with tacos.
While I like the idea of sipping an energy drink on occasion before a big night out, the medicinal flavor, syrupy taste, and neon glow of many energy drinks turn me off. It was nice to discover healthier versions of these caffeinated drinks.
V8 recently announced their V-Fusion + Energy, which offers about the same amount of caffeine as the energy drink that, “gives you wings,” only 50 calories, and in a fruit flavor with vitamins and minerals.
I can get lazy on occasion (okay, more often) and don’t always make time to swirl up a smoothie. New from V8, their mango smoothie offers one full serving each of fruits and vegetables, with no added sugar and 130 calories per 8 ounce glass.
This fermented, non-alcoholic drink has been around for a year now at Whole Foods, but is new to me. CasCal Fermented Natural Soda contains between 60-80 calories per 11-ounce bottle, is available in a variety of flavors, and is sweetened with juice. I give thumbs up (in moderation) to this natural soda that tastes like wine and caters to the sophisticated palate.
Attending a conference tied to an organization that’s 97% female can mess with your mind. I found myself coming back for seconds and thirds when in need of an afternoon caffeine buzz. And the California boys at the Guayakí Yerba Mate booth. Dude.
My client, KIND, told me to expect a big reveal at FNCE, and boy they delivered with KIND Healthy Grains, which are clusters of ingredients including quinoa, chia, flax, flavored with cinnamon, peanut butter, honey, and dark chocolate. Quality munching.
We’ve seen honey and chocolate flavored peanut butter, but Thai ginger and red pepper? Sunland’s no trans fat or sugar added peanut butters come in a variety of exotic flavors, have an ultra smooth consistency, and taste fantastic.
Odds and Ends
I couldn’t get over the rich taste of Savory Choice chicken broth with fewer than 400 milligrams of sodium per cup.
Portion size plates seem like a good idea in theory, but white plastic ware with painted-on numbers is so not sexy. Wine-Trax offers a solution with their clear glass construction, translucent lines, and on-the-elegant-side silhouette. The wine glass outlines 4, 6, and 8-ounce pours.
Celebrity Spotting Bonus
This expo visit came at the perfect time between summer and fall when I get into a food rut as the seasons change and I await fall flavors. I look forward to trying out these newly found items to spice things up in the food department and to make eating healthy easier. I encourage you to include at least one new food in your diet regularly, too.
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