I have to say: I am the luckiest unlucky person I know. I just got the boot from my job, but that allowed me to go on a (pretty much) free trip to Anaheim to attend the Natural Products Expo West. So, I guess when one door slams in your face, another one opens and it leads to Disneyland! 😉
The Natural Products Expo West showcased a record number of new natural and organic product launches, and provided the definitive community platform for brands, retailers and influencers in the natural, organic and healthy living sector.
Natural Products Expo West drew more than 63,000 industry members and 2,428 exhibiting companies at the Anaheim Convention Center, March 7-10, 2013 in Anaheim, CA. Engredea and Nutracon, the ingredient and supply chain’s most comprehensive trade show and conference were co-located with Natural Products Expo West.
Natural Products Expo West provided a unique view into the forces and product trends fueling the growth of the global natural products industry in every category, including food, beverage, supplements, beauty, household and pet products.
Trends prominent at Natural Products Expo West, with significantly more product options launching into the market, include gluten- and allergen-free products, sprouted foods, healthy snacks, non-dairy alternatives, vegan and paleo offerings, and healthier, cleaner kids’ products.
Natural Products Expo East 2013 will return to the Baltimore Convention Center, Sept. 25-28, 2013 in Baltimore, MD. Follow @NatProdExpo or #ExpoWest on Twitter for ongoing conversations or connect on their Facebook page to keep up with their latest developments.
My favorite products at Expo West? Well, I just love the Diestels and their line of deli meats. And I picked Sante Nuts Pistachios as Best of the West. Other favorites were True Bar (Hazelnut especially!!) and the Zing bar. I especially love it when the marketers give me a whole case of their product!! The aforementioned bars are not completely Paleo, but are gluten-free and non-GMO and totally appropriate for an occasional treat. Especially on heavy training days.
During my time in Anaheim, I stayed at Ayres Hotel Anaheim. The hotel is located close to everything! It is directly across the street from the Honda Center (where the Mighty Ducks play) and walking distance from Angels Stadium. It is a short shuttle ride (ART!!) from the Anaheim Convention Center, Disneyland and California Adventure.
I loved staying at Ayres I will stay there every time I visit Anaheim. I enjoyed the nightly wine and guacamole reception from 5:30-6:30pm. You’d think they’d planned this just for me as much as I love wine and guacamole! 🙂 My room was spacious and was equipped with a refrigerator and microwave. Very useful for Paleo people and having to bring your own food along when traveling. There is free breakfast available daily with fresh fruit, oatmeal, cereals, eggs, sausage, bacon, coffee, tea, milk, juices, and more. I was able to enjoy the eggs because they don’t add any weird oils or butter to them.
One of the best things about Ayres was the staff. They were so nice and accommodating. They allowed me to leave my bags at the hotel during Expo West. I drive a Smart car with no trunk, and I didn’t want things in my car left visible to potential thieves (I had to park at Angels Stadium to shuttle to the convention center). Also, during my stay they explained to me how Anaheim Resort Transportation works to me (and a few other guests), so I was able to save $10 on parking at Disneyland.
I worked out in the gym two days of my stay and discovered a great bike path to run on directly beside the hotel. So, if you like to run outdoors or if you are a cyclist, take note. This is a great place to stay for you! I ran three miles out and back. It’s a semi-hilly and fun run that will definitely burn some calories. There’s also an outdoor pool and a spa.
So Ayres Hotel and staff… thanks. You guys are rad. Follow them on twitter here and like them on Facebook here. They run a lot of deals and do a lot of giveaways. It’s such a great place to stay and I will definitely be back!
Lastly, I want to thank Disneyland. I was able to be a kid again for a day with my press credential. I had so much fun. I rode so many rides! Space Mountain, The Matterhorn, It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Haunted Mansion and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I was even able to find a Paleo friendly snack at Bengal Barbecue! They have meat and vegetable skewers!!
I think my favorite ride is at California Adventure. It’s called Radiator Springs Racers and based on the Cars movie. I also checked out Mickey’s Fun Wheel and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror while I was there. It was definitely the Happiest Place on Earth for me and my only regret is that Andy or my nieces were not there with me to enjoy it. Here are a few pictures I took while I was there. I got my picture with Donald Duck because we share the same birthday. 🙂 Thank you so much, Disneyland! Catch them on twitter here and on Facebook here.