Blogfest: Food

This is what happens when you release a self-proclaimed foodie to a Health and Fitness Convention… I like to eat!  I like to review! I love to eat more!  Dang! Good thing this is also a fitness convention!

If you read my last post all about the fitness part of Blogfest, then you know what I am talking about.  If not, go back and read it…just kidding. Not really…..go read it!

Blogfest is an amazing event put together by the ladies of Fit Approach aka Sweat Pink!  I’ve loved these ladies and all they espouse since I met them last September at their Empower Retreat in Vancouver, BC.  This was my first ever Blogfest and I am already excited about next year.  I digress.  Here is the convention as seen by the Foodie side of me!  Want more info for any of these products….click on the link (name in blue with underline).

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Almond Board of California.  As one of our Blogfest sponsors, we were treated to cute little tins that hold exactly one serving of almonds inside.  These were perfect for throwing in my purse, gym bag and desk.  23 almonds.  That’s how many are in one serving.  Me? I go for 26.  Because well, 26 is my lucky number.  They are also good for you! I’ve always liked almonds so that’s even better.  Here are some facts:

  • 6 grams of protein per ounce
  • 12 vitamins and minerals
  • 13 grams of “good”
    monounsaturated fats
  • Rich in magnesium (one serving of 23 almonds contains 76mg!)
  • Low glycemic index
  • 3.5 grams of satisfying fiber
  • Just 160 calories per ounce

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General Mills:  General Mills provided our breakfast on Friday morning after our workout.  I loved the new YQ yogurt with protein with some fresh fruit and granola.   I really struggle with breakfast options that give me the protein I need.  I get bored easily.  I’m also not a huge fan of Greek Yogurt, no offense, it’s just not my thing.  When I find a yogurt that has all the bells and whistles, I am a happy camper.  Our table explored all the other General Mills options and grabbed some their EPIC performance bars for just what we need after a long day!  I’m partial to the Lemon bar.  Dates, almond, egg whites, sea salt, lemon oil. That’s it!

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Great Lakes Gelatin: You’ve seen many posts on my Instagram talking about how I love Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate.  I’ve been using it for a while and I can attest to the change in my recovery post-run, my nails being less brittle and I’ve had less hair in the shower.  All good!  I also know that injesting collagen is a better way to improve the look of your skin versus slathering on an “anti-aging” lotion.  It’s good for your gut health as well and scientist are letting us know a happy gut makes a happy body.  I love it in my smoothies for another source of protein.  It contains one ingredient: collagen.  Hello!

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La Croix Sparkling Water:  It’s summer and that means I want to enjoy a nice refreshing drink, but don’t want all the sugar and crap out there and I’m not a huge soda drinker.  Sometimes plain water isn’t enough.  I loved trying all the different flavors of La Croix.  My favorite was the Key Lime.  I also loved that the flavors aren’t artificial.  They use all natural flavors which are essences or oils derived from the fruit.  So Key Lime is flavored with Key Lime Oil.

Fizzique:  You’ve seen my posts with Fizzique.  Sparkling Protein Water.  It’s getting hot outside and I need a post run pick me up or even after working in the yard.  Seriously people! Hydration is the key to recovery.  Adding a bit of whey protein isolate with a great taste?  As I’m sure you know, proteins provide the essential nutrients for muscle building… but they’re also necessary for proper brain function as well!

National Dairy Council: Full disclosure here…I am originally from Wisconsin. You know, the Dairy State.  I might be a bit biased.  I also know good stuff when I see it.  I want to thank the Diary Council for lunch on Friday of Blogfest and Fairlife for our protein milks. I missed most of their presentation as I was taking photos of peeps with Heidi Powell, but I was really glad to see that they are trying to bring more awareness to the benefits of milk.

There are so many reasons to drink milk and eat milk products.  I was born, 53 years ago, what people label as Lactose Intolerant today.  My pediatrician had my parents slowly introduce me to milk.  This is called de-sensitization.  Before long I was able to tolerate all forms of milk and I have had no issues the rest of my 52 years!

Have you read the latest on peanut allergies…they have decided to try this new thing…de-sensitizing kids.  If it works for peanuts and it worked 52 years ago for me and milk.  Drink milk.

Berry Dairy Delicious

2 cups frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
1 1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 Tbsp honey

Place in blender.  Puree until smooth.  Pour into glass.  Recipe provided by Dairy Council.

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Navitas: Yeah. So this came home with me thanks to the amazing @healthycarleeh.  I’ve got their Beauty Superfoods and their Vanilla & Greens as seen in the above photo. Yep, tried it. Liked it. Brought it home. Give me those yummy superfoods with a great taste and sweetened with agave. Yes, please!

Vital Proteins:  Their booth was spectacular.  The smoothies they served were yumster.  They sent me home with a canister of their collagen peptides.  Blend away ladies!

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More milk products for me to try!

Off I went to visit Fairlife protein milk, Siggis yogurt, and Good Culture cottage cheese.

Siggi’s was wonderfully thick Icelandic style yogurt.  I am partial to the 4% milk fat version, specifically the strawberry rhubarb.

I was excited to try the Fairlife protein milk, but had to pass due to an allergy.  They do make delicious lactose-free milks for those not yet de-sensitized like me.  They still contain milk, but with lactase instead of lactose.  They are also better tasting than the nut milks and great if you have a soy allergy like my son Zach.

Good Culture cottage cheese was like the perfect mid-morning snack for me.  They make a great whole milk cottage cheese, but I really liked their cottage cheese with blueberry acai chia at the bottom.  Great ingredient list too: ORGANIC SKIM MILK, ORGANIC WHOLE MILK, ORGANIC CREAM, ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES, ORGANIC CANE SUGAR, WATER, PRE-HYDRATED ORGANIC CHAI SEEDS, ORGANIC ACAI PUREE, ORGANIC BLUEBERRY FLAVOR, PECTIN, LACTIC ACID, CELTIC SEA SALT, LIVE AND ACTIVE CULTURES.

It’s all about the Eggs!

I stopped off at Egglands Best, All Whites, Quevos, NuGo and Rx Bar all brands that are egg or egg white based products.  I grew up allergic to eggs, specifically the egg yolk.  I’ve noticed that more and more makers are going the egg white route with the success of the Rx bar.

I usually pick up Egglands Best eggs for my avocado and egg toast in the morning.  I like the idea of cracking an egg open rather than pouring it out of a container.  It must go back to my farming ancestors. I don’t know, I’m old school.  I also use my yolks for other recipes like custards and curds.   I’d probably use All Whites if I was camping.

Of all the bars, I can say that they are all good.  It really comes down to texture and taste and that is really subjective/personal.  All had great ingredients, cleaner and healthier and less full of crap.  That’s why I enjoyed trying them all.

What really stood our was the new start-up, Quevos.  They make egg white chips that are crunchy and light with 15g of protein.  Chips that are good for you.  It was a different take on the whole idea.  Add a little guacamole and I am good to go!

It’s a Bar Life

Be Better Protein Squares and Wafer Bars:  Let’s just say yum, yum and more yum.  Light and crispy. 10-16g of protein per bar with no artificial flavors or colors.  I was lucky and they also sponsored our event so I was able to try all the varieties.  I am partial to the Coconut Trail Mix Protein Square, the Coconut Crunch Wafer Bar and the Cranberry & Oats Protein Square.  Made with whole ingredients.  I need all the protein I can get so yes please!

JiMMY Bars: *Contains Stevia* so although they were a sponsor for Blogfest, I couldn’t try them.  My sons ate them though 🙂

Redd Bars: Superfood energy bars with 9+ grams of protein and a little caffeine fix. I was able to try the oatmeal and peanut butter varieties.  I had to pass on the chocolate ones as they had stevia.  If they are as good as the Oatmeal, I’d say go for it! I love their packaging. It makes me think of the periodic tables of elements. How can a scientist not love it when the name of the brand is short for Research Enhanced Design & Development. 😊

Kind Bars: You’ve already seen me having Pressed by Kind.  The fruit and chia bars that are always in my hiking backpack.  I love that their ingredients are just that. Fruit and Chia.  They also have Dark Chocolate Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Banana.  My favorite fruit bars dipped in chocolate.  These are also in my pack, but usually only in cooler weather.  Melted chocolate on a hike? Not a good idea.

Well, they now make Kind Protein from Real Food. 12g of protein in a yummy granola bar made with whey protein, almonds and peanuts.  My fav was the White Chocolate Cinnamon Almond.

National Peanut Board: Lastly, I stopped off  at the booth for the National Peanut Board.  They had chocolate peanut butter milk by Elmhurst  Yum! Pour me a big glass please!  Peanut milk… maybe not for me, but great for recipes for my vegan tree nut allergic co-worker, yes! Life is all about options and it’s good to know they are out there.

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My Thoughts…..

IDEA World did a great job having all the food-related exhibitors in one area of the Expo hall.  It made it easy to beeline over there for a foodie like me.  I looked them all over because I wanted to be able to tell you about the ones that stand out to me.  Underline..TO ME.  You may not hit up the same vendors as me.

You may think that I liked a bunch of these because they were Sponsors for Blogfest.  I am here to tell you that having those Sponsors made it possible for someone like me to afford to go and attend this amazing event.  I can’t thank them enough.  I’ve also been using many of these products before I knew they were a sponsor….Hello milk, almonds and General Mills – who hasn’t.  I listened to the information they shared with me because I love to speak from experience and the biologist in me likes the data. All of this does not sway my opinion.

I will be completely truthful and honest in my opinions and reviews of all the products I try.  It is up to you to check them out and try them for yourself.  That’s what this blog is. My review. My opinion.  I am not an ambassador or influencer for any of the above products.  This is me being free and open with you!

There are products at the expo that I couldn’t try.  If something contained Stevia as many products do these days, I simply can’t try it.  It gives me a migraine, so thank you for being there but I can’t try your product and therefore my readers don’t get a review of your product.  I’m not going to say I love a product that I haven’t tried.

This foodie loved Blogfest and IDEA World because it afforded me the option to try new products that I hadn’t before.  Some of these will be come staples in my home.

Which ones will you try?

Next Up…..Blogfest: The Best!

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