This post is coming to you one week after the annual Food and Nutrition Expo, held in Chicago this year. I had such a fun time seeing fellow RDs, some who I hadn’t seen since my time in New York City, and tasting some cool new foods on the expo hall floor. I even got to meet one of my brand idols! (hint: she was purely gorgeous in person!) The best part was also the fact that I got to come home every night and sleep in my bed, a refreshing change from working it last year and getting sick in my hotel room!
I’m rounding up my top moments and some nutrition trends you’ll want to keep your eyes out for starting with the food!
I started the conference hanging at Health Warrior’s booth talking all things pumpkin seeds! Did you know they have bars with pumpkin seeds as the first ingredient? Yes! They come in three amazing flavors, and have 8 grams of protein per bar. I love that they are only sweetened with honey, a huge difference compared to a lot of other bars out there. If you live in Chicago you can find them at Target, Jewel-Osco, and on Amazon! Here’s a link to my favorite flavor!
I had the pleasure of taking over Simple Mill’s Instagram story to show viewers all the happenings on the expo floor! I had so much fun playing food investigative journalist as I scoped out what new and exciting foods brands were debuting, and just how they were teaching dietitians about their foods….hello cranberry bog! I storied my way to a lunch that Simple Mills was hosting where there was no shortage of delicious eats including mini pumpkin donuts and the best cheese and cracker spread! Their pumpkin bread and muffin mix is on my list of top 10 pumpkin products you must have, and if you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?!
Along the way I ran into my favorite yogurt maker…the man, the myth, the legend…Siggi! I used to see Siggi every couple of months for RD events on behalf of siggi’s, so it was great to catch up!
The big standouts for me when it came to foods where savory bars, pumpkin seed bars, bars made from beans (yes!), immersion experiences that took RDs one step closer to see how a food is made or grown, coffee everywhere, and clean label transparency. These were common threads among the booths, and things I think we are going to see a lot more of!
I started at a different end of the expo on Sunday and to my excitement ran into THE Elizabeth from Purely Elizabeth! I’ve been a huge fan of this brand for years, and immediately recognized her, because she is seriously so pretty! Huge honor to meet the maker of my favorite pumpkin granola! Big shout out to their team for hooking a sister up with some mini bags for me to take home!
On the last full day of the conference I had the pleasure of attending a lovely dinner hosted by Kodiak Cakes at Farmhouse in Chicago. I’d never been to this restaurant in Chicago, but heard it was great, and boy it did not disappoint! The menu was curated especially with Kodiak Cake ingredients an there was a healthy dose of pumpkin that hit it out of the park for me! We started with a deconstructed butternut squash soup (remind me to try to remake that!) and then a second course of mushroom pasta, which led into a dessert of pumpkin cheesecake. The cheesecake had an oat crumble that I still can’t stop thinking about! Amazing!
I also came home with some great samples that I’m still digging through (I swear it’s Halloween for dietitians!) and some new research that I’m excited to share more about with you.