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If you've been following our main instagram account or our behind the scenes account, you know I've been traveling a bit! (Oh! And Lauren is traveling now on behalf of YBC - she's at ShiftCon in LA, be sure to follow her on twitter and instagram for updates.) I wanted to share pics from my recent trip to Baltimore, where I was last week for Expo East. ExpoEast is the biggest natural foods expo in the country, and there are two - ExpoEast and ExpoWest - at different times of the year. From everything I've heard, ExpoWest is far bigger and far crazier than ExpoEast. Given that ExpoEast took me a full three days to get through, it was a good one to start with, I think. :)
My press pass gave me access to the press room that was stocked with juices from sponsor Suja (who recently was bought out by Coca-Cola, any thoughts on that?!) and gazpacho from Tio Gazpacho. I was la-la-loving this gazpacho option! What a genius little concept for a healthier lunch on the go, right? The only thing on the ingredient list that wasn't GAPS-friendly was the vinegar but I have a rule about the GAPS diet and travel - unless I am near death, I eat as well as I can and let it be enough. So it was a great little lunch option for me.
I discovered some really fantastic products while there!
1. Brad's stark naked kale chips. These are a lot like their naked chips except they're nut-free which is awesome for people with autoimmune issues or who are sensitive to nuts. Instead, they use sunflower seeds. They're packed with flavor and I really love them. They're not GAPS-friendly (chickpea miso) but sometimes you just need to live on the wild side, haha. Actually, I hated when people would say that to me when I was in the earth stages of the GAPS diet. Sometimes your body is just so sensitive to foods that any little ingredient off the diet will trigger a bad reaction, so I take that comment back. But I'm approaching the two year mark, which is when you're supposed to start transitioning off the diet, so I've started incorporating things not on the diet and am thankful to report I am doing just fine - no reaction at all.
2. Oatsie Floatsie bath soap from Joyful Bath Co. This soap is handmade in small batches using the purest ingredients - no palm oil, no synthetic anything - it's fantastic quality. And you can't beat a name like that.
3. Theo dark chocolate coconut bites. These are a lot like their peanut butter cups but they're coconut filled. SO YUM. Bonus - there is no soy emulsifier in this chocolate which is how you know it's a quality chocolate. Emulsifiers are super hard on the digestive tract (it's kind of gummy, yikes!), which is why I avoid it.
After walking around for legit 8+ hours, my feet and body were on fire. Luckily I had a pretty big room where I could do a little yoga to loosen up. My business card holder was stolen, so I was kind of in a mood. It was a sentimental gift to me and I think I know who took it but when I kindly confronted them, they said they didn't have it. Sigh.
The best part about an expo like this is that there is definitely going to be something I can eat there. I found a bunch of bone broth companies, and fermented food businesses, but Bao Cultured took the cake. Their flavors were great, and their food was fermented in the traditional way using just water and salt. Really impressed.
The worst part about an expo like this is that you'll for sure feel sick by the end of the day, haha. One afternoon I just had to shut it down with the samples because I had peanut butter, followed by maple syrup followed by bone broth followed by cookie dough followed by pancakes and then stomach was like, 'Press the pause button, Candace!' I'll let you know if I ever figure out how to avoid the inevitable stomach ache but apart from refraining from samples I don't know that you can.
Overall it was an awesome trip. I discovered so small great small businesses who are doing big things in the natural foods industry. I also met so many wonderful people in the health and wellness industry including fellow bloggers, PR people and magazine editors. It was such a great time that I think I'll see if I can head out to ExpoWest in Anaheim in March. We'll see.