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Mind-Body, Health & Wellness

Top Picks from
Natural Products Expo West
This March, nearly 56,000 people attended the Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center.  This wellness event featured over 3,000 exhibits, including health foods, supplements, supplies, drinks, body care, pet care, and everything health and wellness related that you could imagine. Exhibitors ranged from international corporations to small businesses and first timers.

My goal was to bring you the best and most exciting products. While I focused on new offerings, some existing players were just too good to pass up! After a day of tasting, smelling, and trying some amazing and inspiring products, here are my top picks just for you!

Natural Food
Company: Living Intentions; San Francisco, CA

Recommended Products:
•Salad Booster, The Original – $5.29. This is a great way to add super foods like chlorella, sea veggies, chia seeds, and Himalayan pink crystal salt to your diet.  You can sprinkle it on salads, popcorn, or soups for a nutrient boost. I’m hooked!
•Gone Nuts! Raw Cacao Almonds & Raisins – $5.69.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Raw cacao, mildly sweetened, organic sprouted almonds, and California grown organic raisins. This is a rich, chocolaty treat and a great way to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Why these guys are awesome: Their food is delicious and friendly for any diet and lifestyle. Their ingredients lists are short, pure, and pronounceable; and they promote raw, sprouted, gluten-free super foods. I look forward to seeing their products available at local stores very soon.
Where to Shop: www.livingintentions.com

Natural Beauty
Company: HUGO Naturals; Chatsworth, CA

Recommended Products:
•Essential Mist, Vanilla & Sweet Orange – $12.99. If you don’t like alcohol based scents and heavy perfumes, this spray is for you.  Use it as a body mist to feel refreshed or spray it in your hair for a light scent. It can also be used on linens or as an air freshener.
•Massage & Body Oil, Eucalyptus – $12.99. Body oils are a great replacement for lotions as a more natural way to moisturize the skin. This scent is invigorating and uplifting, and the oil is a blend of almond, jojoba, vitamin E, and eucalyptus.

Why these guys awesome: HUGO Naturals are made in the U.S. with recyclable packaging and are free of petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, artificial colors, and synthetic fragrances.  They do not test their products on animals and strive to make them so good and pure that you could eat them (I don’t recommend it, but there were a few people who taste tested them at the expo!). I even had the great fortune of meeting Hugo himself.  Hugo is a charming and passionate man originally from Argentina. As a former chef and farmer, he describes his products as “food for your body, food for your skin, and food for your senses.”
Where to Shop: www.hugonaturals.com, Whole Foods Market, Henry’s, and Sprouts. See website for a full listing in your area.

Natural Health
Company: Clean George; Los Angeles, CA

Recommended Products:
•Hand Purifier, Lovin’ Lavender – $9.99. Rubbing harsh sanitizers on your skin is not a good long term solution for keeping germs at bay. While washing with soap and water is best, it’s not always accessible.  This product uses tea tree and manuka oils to get rid of the bad germs without stripping the skin. Alcohol and witch hazel free, it’s safe for the whole family.

Why these guys awesome: Mother created, mother tested, and mother approved.  Tracy, the founder, was actually not an exhibitor, but an attendee I met with an inspiring story and a fantastic product.  She created the first batch of Clean George because she wanted a natural, beneficial, and earth neutral cleaner derived from plants. Clean George uses responsible sources, recyclable packaging, and even ships in recycled boxes.
Where to Shop: www.cleangeorge.com

Natural Family
Company: Back to the Roots; Emeryville, CA

Recommended Product:
Easy-to-Grow Mushroom Garden – $19.95. This 10-day mushroom kit is a perfect way to get the family interested in nutrition and sustainable living.  In 3 steps (step 1 is opening the package), you can grow pearl oyster mushrooms right in your kitchen. The soil is made from 100% recycled coffee grounds, and they even provide recipes for when you’re ready to harvest your “sustainable urban mushroom farm.”

Why these guys awesome: Two college friends, Alex and Nikhil, with a lot of enthusiasm and passion to create change started Back to the Roots.  They educate kids on what sustainability means through their products, school sustainability workshops, and tours of their urban mushroom farm. Kids are encouraged to send in a picture of themselves and their mushroom garden. They even offered my readers a discount! *Enter coupon code EXPO20 when you order online.
Where to Shop: www.themushroomkit.com and
Whole Foods Market.

Natural Cleaning
Company: Rebel Green; Milwaukee, WI

Recommended Product:
•Yoga Mat Spray, Bliss – $5.00.  Do you hold your breath each time your nose nears your mat in class? Rebel Green has great smelling sprays that can help! The Yoga Mat Sprays clean and freshen your mat and other equipment. This Bliss blend is a mixture of pink grapefruit, bergamot, and lavender scents that will leave your fellow yogis wondering why your mat smells so divine.

Why these guys awesome: The ladies that launched Rebel Green are chic, edgy, and eco-conscious.  Their products reflect the same commitment to design and eco-friendliness. Their product line includes apparel, reusable bags, and yoga accessories; all made in the U.S.
Where to Shop: www.rebelgreen.com; also, see store locator listed on their website.

Natural Baby
Company: Healthy Child Healthy World; Los Angeles, CA

Recommended Products:
•Healthy Child Healthy World – $10.98.  Are you a parent or grandparent? This book is your guide to creating a safe and toxin free home for your little loved ones. It’s a comprehensive step by step guide available in hardcover and paperback.

Why these guys awesome: Healthy Child Healthy World is a non-profit organization that strives to help parents protect their kids from harmful chemicals. Founded by parents who tragically lost their young daughter to cancer, Healthy Child seeks to inform and empower parents, promote policy change, and bring positive change to the marketplace.
Where to Shop: www.healthychild.org, www.amazon.com,
www.barnesandnoble.com

Natural Pets
Company: Eco-Me; Pasadena, CA

Recommended Product:
•Cat Litter Fresh, Grapefruit Sage – $9.99.  This is great for freshening up your kitty’s litter without harmful chemicals. Free of parabens, chemical preservatives, and synthetic fragrances, this product’s main ingredient is sodium bicarbonate (a.k.a. baking soda). It also contains essential oils with antibacterial properties. Since animals are sensitive to smell, it will probably be worthwhile to keep an eye on them at first – to make sure they don’t disapprove of the scent. They also have solutions for your dog like Dry Dog Shampoo and Dog Clean Spray.

Why these guys awesome: If you’ve always wanted to create natural cleaning products yourself (based on vinegar, baking soda, oils), but just haven’t gotten around to it, Eco-Me is for you.  Their products are cruelty free and aim to replace household products that contain harmful chemicals and toxins. They even have DIY kits, so you can make your own products at home!
Where to Shop: www.eco-me.com, www.target.com, and
www.amazon.com

Natural Wellness
Company:  Natural Health International; San Francisco, CA

Recommended Product:
•Salt Air Inhaler – $44.50. This is a new take on the old Neti Pot (A neti pot is a small tea pot shaped device used to flush the sinus cavity with salt water. The flush helps with allergies, sinus issues, respiratory problems, and even snoring). This Salt Air Inhaler has the same benefits and allows you to breathe through the pipe instead of dripping salt water through your nasal cavity. Just breathe in through your mouth and exhale through your nose. The salt draws out moisture from the back of the throat and contains potassium. Regular use of 10-15 minutes a day is recommended for best results.

Why these guys awesome: Check out their website for videos of Dr. Oz’s review on his Alternative Health Secrets show. This product uses Himalayan pink salt, which is pure and free from pollutants.
Where to Shop: www.himalayancrystalsalt.com

Natural foods and products have become big business. Consumers have rallied behind organics and other naturally labeled goods, creating tremendous industry growth and opportunity. As products enter the market, many show promise of going above and beyond labeling standards, being meticulous about sustainability, and delivering the best ingredients to consumers. Others have hijacked the natural labels and use them to promote products that harm the environment and do little to promote health. It’s up to us as consumers to read labels and be conscious of how we vote with our dollars!

In health,
Bahareh
www.mindbodyalliance.com

Bahareh is a certified Health Coach based in Encinitas, serving all of San Diego. She empowers others to live healthier and happier lives by eating well, increasing energy, reducing stress, and finding balance.

Steve

Author: Steve

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