Imagine a gigantic convention center filled wall to wall with booths passing out free samples of the latest, most delicious, natural foods and beverages. It's just as good as it sounds - I was in heaven and I was stuffed to the brim!
This past week I attended the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, the place where holistic foodies gather to see what the latest and greatest food products are and what the future of superfoods holds in store.
While vegan and gluten-free foods are still at the forefront, there will soon be other amazing options in your local stores to keep your diet healthy and varied.
What were my favorites? These are just a few that made my taste buds very happy!
These superfoods have been around for centuries, but it wasn't until recently that they've become more accepted as part of a healthy diet instead of just that weird fungus most people picked off their pizza! There are a wide variety of mushrooms: reishi, cordyceps, portabella, shiitaki, white button, chanterelle, oyster, cremini, and more! Some are great sources of vitamin D, which helps boost immunity, while providing beautifying benefits and other adaptogenic properties. You’ll most likely see mushroom ingredients in energy bars, in capsule form, mixed with soups, in smoothie blends and even in grow-your-own mushroom kits!
New, Better, Veggie Burgers
It’s pretty difficult to find a veggie burger on the market that does not include some fake, isolated soy patty that tastes like rubber with a fake meat flavor. Even as a vegan, I don't like faux meat, so when I search for a veggie burger, I do just that – one that has actual vegetables and other whole, plant-based, non-processed ingredients in it.
I was actually surprised to find a root veggie burger made with turnips, sweet potato and beets; and a black rice burger made of hearty black rice. Highly versatile, veggie burgers like these are tasty on a bun, in a salad, in a wrap, or by themselves – absolutely delish!
Beyond the Kale Chip
Sweet potato chips? Kale chips? That's old news! Now there's Brussles spouts chips, coconut chips, and even parsnip chips! These raw, dehydrated snacks can be found in a few different flavors (how does cilantro lime sound?) and are just as addictive and tasty as kale chips. What a great way to get in more vegetables! Oh, but don’t be fooled by some of those “veggie chip” options currently out in major supermarkets. These are often just regular chips colored with vegetable powder. Be sure to read the ingredient list!
Sprouted This and Sprouted That!
Research continues to show that sprouted nuts, seeds, grains and beans provide more easily digestible nutrients than the unsprouted versions. Sprouted breads are soon to be all the rage and when that 3 p.m. snack attack hits, you can reach for some sprouted trail mix, sprouted whole grain pretzels, sprouted crackers, sprouted brown rice protein powders, and even sprouted lentils.
Specialty Health Beverages
While I like to think of a NutriBlast as the ultimate superfood beverage, aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar tonics, kombucha, coconut kefir and other highly, health-minded beverages are starting to give all those sugar-laden, nutritionally-void sodas some competition! Why not quench your thirst while providing your body with beneficial bacteria and digestive assistance at the same time?
I’ve been on a kombucha kick for a while, but my new favorite is an apple cider vinegar and cinnamon drink.
You can make this at home by mixing 16 fl oz. filtered water, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp lemon juice, 8-10 drops of liquid Stevia, ½ tsp cinnamon, and maybe a couple ice cubes in your NutriBullet – just a couple pulses to incorporate and you’re all set! Delish!
Which one of these might you incorporate into your daily diet? Choosing one new healthy habit or food a week and slowly inching out the not-so-good-for-you stuff will eventually lead to a healthier and happier YOU! Cheers!