The Natural Products Expo West was started in 1981 and had around 3,000 attendees during the first show. Now in 2017, they had over 80,000 attendees and over 3,000 exhibitors and the show keeps growing year after year. It’s growing so much, that the Anaheim Convention Center is expanding just to accommodate Expo West! It’s undoubtedly my favorite time of year (more so than Christmas, but don’t tell my family!). I had another great year as an official blogger for the expo and enjoyed the camaraderie with my #NewHopeBlogger team. Thanks again New Hope Network for having me on board again to represent!
Every year I try new and innovative natural products, and I also meet people and brands that are looking to make a difference. From non-GMO, to certified organic, to free-from allergens, to addressing climate change, responsible packaging, and more. The changemakers are at this event. Among the changemakers this year was certified low-FODMAP products from FODMAPPED and FODY.
Low-FODMAP Named Among Top 10 Trends at Expo West by Food Business News
Both FODMAPPED and FODY are looking to make the lives of low-FODMAP dieters easier. How are they doing that? By offering products that are certified, consumers can have the confidence of knowing these products are low in FODMAPs and less likely to trigger symptoms. Many packaged products such as sauces, condiments, salad dressings, convenience bars, soups and stocks contain high-FODMAPs, but with certified low-FODMAP brands, the worry for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) goes away. They can make a meal or enjoy a snack in confidence. I can’t wait to see more certified low-FODMAP products to hit the shelves of supermarkets across the U.S. and the world. My fans also in the U.K., Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and in many other parts of the world are desperate for options. I am thrilled to be FODMAPPED’s ambassador and I had a great time this year helping to promote them at Expo West. I also had a book signing for my book The Everything Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook and enjoyed meeting others that need soltuions for their IBS!
I am thrilled to be FODMAPPED’s ambassador and I had a great time this year helping to promote them at Expo West. I also had a book signing for my book The Everything Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook and enjoyed meeting others that need solutions for their IBS!
One of the things I really love about FODMAPPED’s products is the flavor. When on an elimination diet, it’s nice to be able to enjoy eating, to enjoy the journey to better health and not feel limited. Family and friends wouldn’t notice FODMAPPED products are especially made for an IBS diet, because the flavors are so good. Their Butter Chicken Curry Simmer Sauce, Red Curry Simmer Sauce, Red Wine and Italian Herb Tomato Pasta Sauce and Slow Cooked Chicken Stock are my favorites so far. Some of FODMAPPED’s products come with recipes right on the back of the package, making it easier for someone to include say, the right type and amount of vegetables. For instance, a ½ cup broccoli is listed with the recipe on the back of the package for their Red Curry Simmer Sauce. Broccoli is OK on the diet, as long as a ½ cup or less is consumed per person. So FODMAPPED makes it easy for you to know how much broccoli to buy at the store and how much to use in your dish without experiencing ill effects.
For brands looking to certify products as low in FODMAPs, the FODMAP Friendly Food Program is the only registered certification trademark worldwide certifying FODMAP levels in food products that have been laboratory tested to be low in FODMAP’s. Fill out an application here to see if your product can be tested or contact me for more details.
My favorite picks from FODY include their Mild Salsa and Marinara Sauce. They have a BBQ sauce as well but I haven’t tried it. All of these products could be used in several different types of dishes, and help to keep the excitement in cooking at home, even while on an elimination diet such as low-FODMAP.
When it comes to options, we do have some thankfully, they are just not certified low-FODMAP (yet). You can take a look at my Low-FODMAP Brands page where you will find products that appear to be FODMAP friendly due to the low-FODMAP ingredients used. I tend to try and find products that don’t have a long list of ingredients, and I mostly stick to the natural product category (hence another reason why Expo West is my mecca for finding better quality foods).
Always on the Hunt for FODMAP Friendly
Each year that I go to the Natural Products expos I am always on the hunt for products that could be considered FODMAP friendly. Reading labels takes time so I always do a bit of research before I go to the show, and getting pitched by PR reps for brands helps in my conquest as I can quickly write back and inquire about ingredient lists. When I approach brands and talk to them about low-FODMAPs, I’d say the brands that have allergen friendly products, digestive aids or gut-friendly products as well as probiotic brands seem to be more privy to the low-FODMAP lifestyle. Sometimes I get lucky and among many SKUs for one brand, one SKU could be potentially low in FODMAPs. Here is hoping many of them will contact me so I can tell them more about the FODMAP Friendly Food Program, so that they will get certified low-FODMAP and reach a demographic so greatly in need – 25-45 million Americans who have IBS (1 in 7 people), far more than those who need to be gluten-free.
Below are some of my favorite FODMAP friendly finds from Expo West. Again, based on the ingredients, these products appear to be low in FODMAPs. They have not been certified (yet!).
- Mr Mak’s ® Original Dynasty Gin Bao– An inspiring family story that you must read more about. I loved meeting sister and brother Frances and Kenny and I would totally hang out with them (please invite me to where you make your longbrew ok?) “We are looking to make Chinese medicine more accessible, and less ‘foreign and exotic’ and are working on new formulations to help fight fatigue and anxiety.” co-founder Frances Mak. This ginger and ginseng longbrew is a family recipe and a great FODMAP friendly drink to soothe the gut. Ingredients: Water, Organic Ginger Puree, Lemon Juice, Organic Ginger Extract, Organic Asian Ginseng.
- Organic Baobab SuperHerb® Tea Bags by The Republic of Tea –I think this tea would be a nice FODMAP friendly tea to sip quietly to silence the gut after a stressful day. “Baobab is thought to be an antioxidant in Africa. Traditionally used as a versatile medicine, baobab has a reputation for fighting asthma and soothing inflammation and fatigue.” Ingredients: Organic baobab, organic peppermint, organic spearmint.
- Ginger Shots – wow, who needs coffee? You may skip it for these powerful shots! The Kiwi Ginger, Lemon Ginger, Pineapple Ginger appear to be FODMAP friendly and a great way to wake up the senses and feed your immune system a good dose of vitamin C! They are all made with two ingredients each – one organic fruit juice and ginger juice (ex: Kiwi Ginger is made with organic kiwi juice and organic ginger juice).
- CALIWATER – Cactus Water Wild Prickly Pear –was another great find with half the calories and sugar of coconut water. Most pears are high in FODMAPs but one medium sized prickly pear is low in FODMAPs, making this revitalizing drink probably FODMAP friendly. Ingredients: Filtered water, prickly pear cactus puree, organic cane sugar, organic lemon juice, natural flavors, 200MG Prickly Pear Cactus Extract.
- Drink Maple Pure Maple Water – Made from one single ingredient, I loved this FODMAP friendly drink that’s low in sugar, mineral rich with calcium, and high in manganese, which acts as a co-enzyme to assist metabolic activity in the human body.
- Laird Superfood Instafuel – instant coffee + superfood creamer (dairy-free). Yes as in Laird Hamilton, American big-wave surfer. I can’t wait to give this product a go!
- Co Yo – A very clean yogurt. A very clean yogurt and I loved the texture! Coconut Cream, Tapioca, Pectin and Probiotic Cultures. Dairy-free, gluten-free, no added sugar, no gums, no carrageenan which is all good news for anyone following the low-FODMAP diet. Paleo certified, vegan, non-GMO, soy-free, kosher.
- Qrunch Original Quinoa Breakfast Toastables Millet and quinoa “toastables.” Millet and quinoa “toastables” that make for a very satisfying breakfast or I would even use them as a side dish or as dessert. Only 1 gram of sugar in one serving. Certified gluten-free, USDA organic and non-GMO. Free of: dairy, wheat, corn, soy, egg, nut, MSG and low in sodium. Ingredients: Water, Organic Millet, Organic Quinoa, Organic Refined Coconut Oil, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Arrowroot Starch, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Psyllium Seed Powder, Sea Salt, Organic Sunflower Oil.
- GoMacro MACROBAR Minis – sunflower butter + chocolate snack bar. sunflower butter + chocolate. I believe I was told a dietitian helped GoMacro with the recipe of this bar to make it FODMAP friendly! GoMacro is now certified r.a.w. ™ and certified c.l.e.a.n. ™. More reasons to love this wholesome brand.
- Good Health Cocoa Coconut & Almond DIGESTION chocolate bar. 72% dark couverture chocolate. “Specially crafted to promote digestion, this bar is loaded with ginkgo leaf and Asian ginseng, both of which are considered among the most highly-regarded of herbs because of their incredible nutritional attributes.”
- SMASHMALLOW gourmet marshmallows. Do you like churros? Imagine a fluffy marshmallow that tastes like churros and is a little crisp and a little chewy rolled in sweet cinnamon sugar. That’s what a SMASHMALLOW in Cinnamon Churro flavor tastes like. I had to pull myself away from the booth after I tasted a few of their fancy flavors including Meyer Lemon Chia Seed (yes chia seeds in marshmallows), Root Beer Float, Espresso Bean and other delectable flavors. Cinnamon Churro ingredients: Organic Cane Sugar, Water, Tapioca Syrup, Gelatin, Cinnamon, Natural Flavors, Vanilla Extract.
- Cookie Chips gluten-free chocolate chip and lemon sugar cookies
- Simple Mills Original Sprouted Seed Crackers
- Dandies Vegan Marshmallows –these light and fluffy puffs of happiness (marshmallows are my favorite dessert) are better than traditional marshmallows which are loaded with unnatural ingredients and made with gelatin (a yucky animal-based ingredient, look it up). When I had Dandies for the first time I started to look at marshmallows in a whole different way thinking, “of course we can have a better tasting, healthier marshmallow!” Duh. “Dandies Marshmallows are made with all natural ingredients, contain no high fructose corn syrup or gelatin (they’re 100% vegan!), and are the first ever marshmallow to be Non-GMO Project Verified. Oh, and our marshmallows are kosher too!”
- Wild Ophelia Almond Sea Salt Bar and Maine Sea Salt Peanut Butter Cups. Wild Ophelia is a Fair Trade, non-GMO chocolate line that embodies the spirit and flavors of America. Ophelia is our maverick muse who is passionate about exceptional ingredients from farmers and artisans, fostering fellow female entrepreneurs, and living the American dream. Wild Ophelia was created by my idol, a woman who has inspired my life and business, Vosges Haut-Chocolat founder, Katrina Markoff. She hopes that Wild Ophelia will encourage, educate and propel American high school and college girls who have entrepreneurial dreams in food.
- Bobo’s Peanut Butter Bars -always a great low-FODMAP go-to treat for me.
- PASCHA Organic 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate –free from peanuts, nut, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs.
- Quinn Snacks Vermont Maple Kettle Corn – a new way to enjoy popcorn with FODMAP friendly ingredients!
- SuperSeedz -I love a few of their flavors, especially FODMAP friendly Cinnamon & Sugar. These are pumpkin seeds with organic sugar, cinnamon, and real vanilla. Try them alone, add them to a homemade trail mix, or use them as toppers on low-FODMAP yogurt, oatmeal and more.
- Project 7 Champagne Dreams Gourmet Gummies – I loved these fancy gummies! Enough said.
- Rise Buddy Sea Salt flavor– tasty, crunchy, baked rice snacks for kids and adults alike. I am definitely stocking up on these.
- Rhythm Superfoods Roasted Kale Chips with Sea Salt – first time I saw these was in Starbucks so they should be easy to find!
- RP’s Pasta Gluten-Free Linguini – made with Brown rice flour, water, potato starch, tapioca starch, whole egg, xantham gum, salt, glucono-delta-lactone. Really yummy, delicious and great texture! All RP’s ingredients are sourced locally where possible.
- Kaila’s Organic and Non-GMO stir-fry and sauté oils, organic, non-GMO, featuring Palm Done Right.
- OrganicGirl Super Greens and other “good clean greens.” You know when you buy greens and within a day they’re slimy? I have never picked up a soggy container of greens from this brand. If you happen to be in the Encinitas, CA area, Lazy Acres has a really good display of OrganicGirl greens.
- Milkadamia Macadamia milk – macadamia milk is new on the scene as being low in FODMAPs, which is great for all FODMAPPers, vegan, vegetarian, carnivores, pescatarians – having more plant-based milk options is always a nice thing for any diet.
- Suzie’s Unsweetened Quinoa Milk (contains gellan gum which is similar to xanthan gum, a low-FODMAP). Yes, there is such a thing as quinoa milk and it’s amazing!
- Fourth & Heart White Truffle Salt Ghee Butter –a must have! This is an incredible, sultry-tasting product that would could turn many dishes into absolute divine deliciousness. Ghee is FODMAP friendly and is a higher dose of the good fat found in butter. Fourth & Heart’s grass-fed ghee uses the highest quality grass-fed butter sourced from a cooperative of farms in New Zealand. “Grass is naturally high in Vitamin A, D, E, K and CLA. When the cow’s milk is rich with these vitamins, it goes directly to the butter and therefore the ghee. Just like how Mom’s nutrition goes to her baby when drinking breast milk!”
- Maisie Jane’s Organic Almond butter – (in new packaging at the show) Made from 100% dry roasted almonds and not other ingredients. I mean it when I say it that this was the BEST almond butter I’ve ever had!
- Artisan Kettle Organic – Organic Baking Chocolate in Bittersweet – delicious, velvety baking chocolate that I can’t wait to use with my Low-FODMAP Banana Chocolate Walnut Bread! “We selectively source our organic, Fair Trade CertifiedTM cocoa from small, family farmers in South America. We then blend our cocoa with only a few, simple ingredients to create the best tasting organic chocolate there is to offer.” Yet another company doing great in the world.
- Sir Kensington’s Classic Mayonnaise and Dijonnaise – these are my go-to low-FODMAP mayonnaise products. I’ll never stop love you Sir Kensington!
- Chosen Foods Coconut Oil Mayo -information is not up on company website yet.
- Nutiva Red Palm Oil -Grown on small organic family farms in Ecuador, Nutiva’s Red Palm is certified Organic, Non-GMO and Fair Trade. They partner with Natural Habitats™ to ensure that no deforestation or habitat destruction results from the growing or harvesting process. “Our unrefined red palm oil has a mild carrot-like flavor, with a rich, buttery texture. Some red palm oils have a strong or harsh flavor, however, our proprietary cold-filtration process removes any strong flavor while retaining the nutrients. It’s ideal for soups, sauces and sautéing. It also turns regular popcorn into delicious (and healthy!) movie theater-style popcorn.”
- Truly Supplements Probiotic 70% cacao chocolate hearts. Great product and husband and wife team. Gluten free, dairy free, contains bacillus subtilis 1 Billion CFU in one serving. Non-GMO and certified USDA organic.
- Nutrasumma Fermented Pea Protein – a very clean (and very delicious) protein powder which may be suitable for the low-FODMAP diet. I tried a few flavors for this product and did not experience any issues. I am excited to learn more about fermented protein and to share the benefits with those who need a protein powder that’s easy on the gut.
- NeoCell Super Collagen Super CollagenTM products provide a pure and potent dose of clinically tested, enzymatically hydrolyzed collagen. **Helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles* • Clinically tested to increase skin hydration • Supports bone & connective tissue health • Strengthens hair & nails • Glycine contributes to lean muscle *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Since I am interested in all things guts and microbiome research, another product on my radar (not a food product) was MOTHERDIRT AO + MIST which works to restore good bacteria to your skin. It is a live probiotic spray for the skin that is formulated with a patented, live “peacekeeper” bacteria to restore essential bacteria that’s been removed by modern hygiene and lifestyles. A growing number of adults and children are reporting issues with their skin, and MOTHERDIRT believes it’s because we are constantly washing away the good bacteria that our skin’s ecosystem of microorganisms need to thrive. “Just as in the gut, constant disruption of this ecosystem by harsh chemicals and preservatives could leave the skin more prone to issues long term. I can’t wait to give all their products a test run. I tried the mist at the show and loved it.
I am looking forward to going back to Expo West next year and already counting the days! If you have any comments or questions about the products above, please comment below!
“Be Good to Yourself and Your Gut!”
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