By: Karen Cicero
It’s Vegas, baby! OK, I got that out of my system. I’m actually blogging today from the Natural Products Association MarketPlace in what is, ironically, the least natural city on Earth: Las Vegas. Hundreds of natural food and beauty companies have set up their booths here and brought experts with them to answer questions. Take a spin around with me.
The booth with the gorgeous display of peonies catches my eye, but first I have to try the vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake from Blossom Fine Foods. I’m prepared to take that polite first bite and then excuse myself before I have to eat the rest, but it is genuinely delicious -- and I’m not even following a vegan or gluten-free diet.
“How did you get the frosting to taste so good without any dairy?” I ask the company’s owner.
“I use vanilla soymilk,” she tells me. “It makes the icing more flavorful than regular soymilk.” Genius!
Next, I stop at the Burt’s Bees booth because I’m addicted to the company’s lip balm. Before I can even introduce myself, two people tag-team me about the company’s new line of hair care products made from Baobab oil. “What’s Baobab?” I ask, realizing that it sounds familiar.
“It’s oil extracted from an African tree. It’s very moisturizing and contains vitamins A, C and E.” They give me a bottle to take home. (I’ll let you know how it works.)
My next cool stop: The Real Deal All Natural Snacks. “Do you want to taste our new veggie chips?” asks one of the founders of this family-owned business. She handed me a one-portion bag of what looked like mint-green Fritos, telling me “there’s a serving of peas in every bag.”
Wild! I couldn’t detect a hint of pea taste in the chips. My 9-year-old, who actually likes peas, tries them too and thinks they taste like regular corn chips. “Mom, can you put these in my lunch for camp?” she asks.
I stroll around for at least another hour or so, dropping by booths for natural insect repellent, baby lotion, and omega-3 supplements, but I want to tell you about the last booth I stop at. It’s Anna’s Choice, a company that makes squeezable nut butters and jarred crushed pecans to shake on a salad or yogurt. The products are great, but what I learn from a nutritionist who is checking out the booth too is even cooler: “Of all nuts, pecans are particularly rich in a potent form of vitamin E,” she says. “There was a recent study that showed they help reduce bad cholesterol and inflammation.” Now that just made my day.
What are your favorite natural products?
For more great health and lifestyle content, visit Completely You
is Completely You’s Need to Know blogger. A health journalist and magazine editor with more than 15 years of experience, she has contributed to such publications as Prevention, SELF and Health, and she has edited the dental column for Heart & Soul magazine.
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