Natural Products Expo West: My Disneyland

Last weekend I was in Anaheim California, working with my sponsor, Ojio, a company who sell raw and unprocessed, organic plant-based superfoods. We were running an exhibit at the Natural Products Expo West; it’s the ‘mecca’ of health foods and wellness products. The event hosted a colossal 3533 exhibits and more than 58,000 participants. It was an amazing experience.

For me, it was like being at Disneyland (Note, the real Disneyland was just across the street from the Expo venue!). Imagine unlimited free samples of mouth-watering organic mint-chocolate coconut ice-cream, free of dairy, soy, gluten, and processed sugar. Or mulberry chia seed energy bars that are raw and organic. Or vanilla-coconut flavored sprouted buckwheat hemp seed cereal with spirulina, chlorella, alfalfa, and dandelion. Or kale chips (crisps) flavored with himalayan salt and basalmic vinegar. There were also all-natural rubber yoga mats and eco-friendly kitchen utensils on exhibit. All this, and the weather was sunny and warm too!

What impressed me most however, where the people I met, and the team I worked with. I had the opportunity to meet some influential personalities, including:

  • Scott Jurek, among the most successful, if not the most successful ultramarathon athlete alive. He runs on a purely plant-based diet. This guy knows his stuff when it comes to nutrition, and he was great fun to talk to.
  • Brendan Brazier, a Canadian Ironman triathlete and ultramarathon runner, who is author of The Thrive Diet (a book I live by) and Thrive Fitness. He kindly offered a free signed copy of Thrive Fitness to me. It was great to meet the guy in the flesh.
  • Mark Allen, the six-time winner of the Ironman World Championship. Mark and Dave Scott are the only ones who have each won six times each!
  • Ani Phyo, a very charismatic raw plant-based chef, and author of Raw Food Essentials. Her recipes are amazingly delicious.

Within the Ojio ‘family’ I had the pleasure of working with an amazing team, including another raw food vegan chef Jason Wrobel, as well as the marketing and sales group. Ojio’s other sponsored athlete, Chris Werner, and I are developing Ojio Sport, a line of products that will include pre-exercise snacks, energy drinks, gels, and recovery drinks made from a blend of unprocessed raw superfoods. Imagine an great tasting green energy drink that is alkaline-forming and nutritious, free from processed sugars and salts! More to come on this in the coming months.

In the meantime, I need to catch up on training!

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