5 Favorite Bars and Treats from Expo West 2018

I’ll always remember when Along Comes Mary was approaching its first birthday. I attended Expo West, which is now one of my now-favorite yearly events. In 2013, every other item still didn’t quite have an allergen friendly icon on its package. So I felt in heaven at the Anaheim Convention Center that rainy spring weekend as every natural product brand you can imagine (and then some) were exhibiting. From Udi’s Gluten-Free to Amy’s and Pamela’s. I must admit that I definitely have my cake and it too during Expo West.

Grab and Go Favorites from Expo West

Held every March, Expo West (also known as natural Products Expo) takes over the entire convention center. Just adjacent to Disneyland, too. Their vendors are all brands that will understand when you ask, “Is this gluten-free?” or “Is their casein in that string cheese?”

2018 was an exceptionally great year to be there. I especially enjoyed connecting with so many brand new health-conscious companies on the 3rd floor. Read on my for 2018 Expo recap and discover some brands I definitely recommend you check out!

Detour Whey Protein Bars

I’ve been working hard (or so I’d like to think) to improve my diet. For me, this means increasing my protein and keeping my carbs more to a minimum. This is often tough for me as I am one to gravitate towards “grab and go” snacks. Usually, some kind of snack or granola bar. While several of my favorites boast the amount of protein in their bar, it doesn’t always mean it’s low-carb. One of my favorites? It’s great and I appreciate the 12 grams of protein. But granted, it’s also got at-least 25 grams of carbs and sugars.

But, not Detour whey protein bars. My new go-to when I am looking to save my carbs for a heartier dinner are Detour’s Simple bar. Just SIX net carbs and 10 grams protein, this is what I have been looking for. Founded by an Olympic Silver Medal Athlete, Detour has sold more than 400 million bars. Why have they not been on my radar?! Favorite so far? Their caramel peanut.

Detour Simple bars
Bobo’s PB&J Oat bar!

And, on those days I’m looking for a bar heavier in carbs, like when I am exercising more….

Bobo’s Oat Bars

I’ve passed by Bobo’s Oat bars in the grocery store. Vegan and gluten free, they have always caught my eye yet the price for a single bar always made me hesitate. I probably looked like a nerd when I approached their booth. Even more so when I was able to nab a sample of their peanut butter and jelly bar. I tried it today at last (review purposes, right?) and let me just say, I won’t hesitate to buy some Bobo bars again! Made with rice flour and oats, raspberry jam is the star of this PB&J bar and I loved every bite.

Definitely heavy enough to act as a meal replacement, this would also be a great snack to have on hand for your little ones. One bar is big enough to even split.

Luna Rica Bars

I’ve loved Clif’s Luna bars for years now. I always remember living on their Lemon Zest flavor on my first trip to New York. It tasted like a breakfast pastry without the gluten. At Expo West they unveiled several new flavors like their Creamy Dreamy peanut butter bar (which only has 5 grams of sugar) and their new Rica bar line.

Certified organic and non-GMO as well as their norm of gluten-free and vegan, Luna’s Rica line has 3 flavors: chocolate peanut butter, coconut almond and salted caramel nut. Can you guess my favorite bar?! I even had a giggle with the Luna brand representative that while other nut butters are great, there’s nothing like a peanut butter chocolate combo.

Luna bars galore…
Partake cookies

Partake Cookies

I loved stopping by Partake Foods booth and chatting with their founder, Denise. As her beautiful baby girl grew and switched to solid foods, it was clear that little Vivienne had several allergies. 8 to be exact. Knowing how frustrating it is for parents to feed their kiddos who suffer from food allergies, Denise set out to bring her cookies to everyone. Thus, Partake Foods was born!

Their cookies were delicious. While Denise has the traditional chocolate chip option, Partake’s other options include carrot oat and sweet potato millet. As a carrot cake fan, I must say I may get some odd looks when I say my new favorite cookie flavor is carrot oat!

Alpendough Cookies

After munching on Partake’s cookies, I was in for another treat when I stopped by to try Alpendough. A vegan and gluten-free cookie dough company based out of Colorado, I never would have guess the cookies that were fresh out of the oven were vegan, let alone gluten free.

While their cookie dough to whip up your own batch are a must, their lemon poppy seed protein cookie kept me full all day long. While often cookies are frowned upon for a healthy diet, this cookie was more like a filling meal.