Healthy Living: Top health food picks from nutritionist Deborah Enos

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Nutritionist and wellness coach, Deborah Enos just got back from one of the biggest health food expos in the country.  Below, she shares her favorite finds from this year's event.

From Deborah:

I’m back from the biggest natural foods show in the country, Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center. Expo West is considered the Olympics of the natural foods industry.

There were thousands of vendors and 90,000 attendees. The show can be a bit overwhelming and I got the opportunity to try lots of new and downright interesting food items.

While there is no set theme, it was clear to me what the emerging trends look like for the next year or two…

  • LOW CARB & SUGAR
  • GLUTEN FREE-HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO J
  • SUPER LOW CAL ICE CREAMS
  • PROTEIN-EVERYTHING!

There are many valid reasons to cut back on carbs (I’m defining carbs here as grains- bread, cereals, baked goods). While there are still nutrients in carbs, it’s pretty small when you compare a bagel to a bowl of steamed broccoli. Which one of those foods is easier to grab? Of course it’s the bagel. Let’s face it; eating fewer junk carbs isn’t easy. One of the biggest trends I saw at Expo are companies that are trying to make it easier to avoid the junk carbs while still allowing you to  enjoy your favorite foods, such as pizza or a sandwiches.

Here are the companies that made it to the top of my list:

CALI’ FLOUR FOODS:

I love pizza and using this cauliflower crust allows me to eat pizza with no guilt, bloat or bad night of sleep due to an upset tummy. This company made my list because they only use a handful of ingredients (about 4) as compared to their competitors that use 7 and up to 14 ingredients! If I choose to eat the whole pizza (and I usually do) it’s only 180 calories.

NEW GEM FOODS:

I have really cut back on my junk carbs. But I also have to say that I miss wraps and burritos. This product has solved my problem! I know they look like the fruit roll-ups that you might put in your kids’ lunches, but these are distinctly different. The flavors are clean and if it says tomato, you can be assured that tomatoes will be the first ingredient. They roll perfectly; have great flavor and the biggest bonus? They don’t fall apart! These are Non-GMO, low carbs, gluten free, keto and paleo friendly and they don’t need to be refrigerated.

NATURAL VITALITY RASPBERRY GUMMIES-MAGENSIUM:

I love this product! Magnesium is one of the minerals that people have a hard time getting in their daily diets. Magnesium had a long list of health problems it may impact. From muscle cramps/fatigue to headaches to sleep/anxiety issues and blood pressure. Most physicians will recommend taking magnesium at night as a way to help you sleep. Here’s my healthy sleep hack: I chew about 4 of these gummies about an hour before bed. So not only does it help me sleep but it also kills my sweet tooth because I feel like I’m eating candy J

SLIM TWIN ICE CREAM:

I’m sure you’ve seen some of the low calorie ice creams that have been making the rounds. You are encouraged to “skip the bowl” and eat the whole pint. I’ve tried a few different brands and I have to say I wasn’t impressed. When I tried Slim Twin at Expo, I was surprised by the texture; it really does seem similar to ice cream. Most of the other brands tasted more like frozen water with a little flavor thrown in. And, shockingly, each pint contains 24 grams of protein and between 240-320 calories-for the whole pint! It’s also organic, so it’s a win-win in my book.

 

KITCHUN:

I have to admit I was attracted to the name and branding…then I tried their no grain granola.

I haven’t stopped thinking about it since J

They have creative flavors like Holy-Coco-Cacao and You’re the Apple of my Chai.

The granola is so flavors are so strong and fresh that I find I can be satisfied with a small handful instead of hoovering the whole package. They have some other products coming out soon, including their no grain granola with the addition of sausage. I found it to be a fantastic combo and savory and sweet along with a nice hit of protein.

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