This past week, I had the privilege of attending my very first natural products expo in Baltimore. As a blogger (or "influencer") who focuses on healthy living and being very passionate about healthy eating and non-toxic products in my own personal life, this event was like Disneyland for me. Granted, I was a little like a deer in headlights at the beginning, due to the sheer immensity of it all. But it was also super exciting, getting the opportunity to speak with so many amazing companies and people in the industry and getting to sample so many delicious new products.
I don't really like the term "influencer" that much, but I figure if I am going to be considered an influencer and I do have the power to influence people, then I want to make sure I do it the right way and for the right reasons. Meaning, I don't want to tell you guys about products just because someone paid me to do so. Yes, I enjoy working with companies I believe in (and will continue to do so), but I want to focus on products and relationships that I truly believe in and use myself in my own life. After all, that's the whole concept behind Live a F.a.s.t. Life... to share tips and encouragement that will help you clean up your life and body, and live a life that is more joyful, peaceful, fabulous and abundant!
So, on that note, I want to share with you guys my top 20 from Expo East. Now, you may think 20 sounds like a lot of products. But in actuality, I had a VERY difficult time narrowing it down because there were SO many great products there. But these just stood out above the rest, so I wanted to share them with you as soon as I could. I will get into more detail about a lot (if not all) of these at a later point, but for now, here they are...
My Top 20 From Expo East:
- Perfect Bar - seriously, the most delicious bar I've ever tasted.
- UnReal - most delicious peanut butter cups eva.
- Zevia - although I've drank these sodas for awhile now, they did have some fun, new stuff at the show!
- Lilly's Sweets - decadent, stevia-sweetened chocolate.
- Banza Chickpea Pasta - fantastic gluten free pasta that's packed with protein!
- Noyah Cosmetics - creamy, non-toxic lipsticks and lip glosses in beautiful colors.
- Aquavert - 100% natural cleaning products.
- Kevita Kombucha - delicious Kombucha drinks and apple cider tonics.
- My Magic Mud - activated charcoal toothpaste that leaves your teeth feeling great!
- Vega - my go-to protein powder for my daily smoothie.
- Live Beverages - drinkable kombuchas and drinking vinegars that taste like soda!
- Brooklyn Organics Craft Ginger Ale - flavored ginger ales sweetened with stevia.
- Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss Ice Cream - they have a gluten free ice cream sandwich!!
- Organic Gemini Tigernut Products - the tigernut milk is fantastic!
- Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein - the new peanut butter flavor is ridiculously good.
- Nuttin Ordinary - plant-based cheese spreads that actually taste great!
- P.S. Snacks Cookie Dough - cookie dough that's actually good for you!
- Flapjacked - gluten-free, protein-packed pancake and muffin mixes.
- Bread Empire - seriously, the best gluten-free breadsticks I've ever tasted!
- Chasquis Natural Foods - the chocolate quinoa krunch are like little balls of heaven!
Can you tell I like sweets? ;)
Although these companies/products really stood out to me from the get-go, the whole expo was filled with amazing people who are working hard to bring you and I great products that will not harm our bodies. From non-toxic beauty and cleaning products, to organic, non-GMO foods and beverages, it was nice to be with like-minded individuals and know that we are all after the same goal... a healthier world for all of us!
Now, begins the fun part of working my way through all of these goodies...
And I promise, as always, I will keep updating you all on which foods are the most deliciously healthy and which products are the most fantastically non-toxic. And give you my honest opinion on them all. My goal is to save you some of the hard work and help you skip a couple steps where you can just enjoy the benefits of my trial and error. ;)
I also wanted to give any of you other bloggers or healthy living enthusiasts that may be attending one of these expos for the first time soon, a few "newbie" tips that I learned while I was there:
- Get there early and stay to the end. There's SO much to do and see... you will need all the time you can get!
- Have your "elevator pitch" ready to go. The exhibitors will see thousands of people every day, so you want to make sure you stand out in their mind. You only have a few minutes to make a connection, so be ready to tell them who you are and what you're all about in a short, sweet sound bite!
- Wear comfortable shoes. Period.
- Wear layers so you can adjust accordingly to the temperature inside and outside the expo hall.
- Plan out your game plan ahead of time. Although you can attempt to wander through each aisle like you would in a grocery store, you may run out of time. So make sure you hit all of your must-see's by making a list and marking them off as you go.
- Park close - you will have a lot of bags to carry, so it's worth it to pay a slightly higher parking fee and not have to walk as far.
- Come hungry - you probably won't need lunch because of all the samples you'll be trying!
- Don't be afraid to try new things - I finally tried drinking vinegars and they were great!
- Bring lots of business cards!
- Stay til the very end of the last day, since a lot of the exhibitors are trying to lighten their loads to take home! ;)
And of course, most of all, HAVE FUN!
As for me, I can't wait until next year and I look forward to sharing everything I've learned this year with all of you. Keep an eye on the blog and my social media channels for reviews, updates and contests with some of my favorite products!
And as always... keep your worries tiny and your dreams BIG!