March 10, 2014

Natural Products Expo West 2014: Dead-Blogged by Crabby!

By Crabby McSlacker

So, you know how reporters and bloggers go to an exciting event like the Natural Products Expo West and they "live-blog" it?  Readers can virtually experience the happenings themselves as they see pictures and impressions scroll by in Real Time.

Well, sorry, but "live-blogging" is SO not Crabby McSlacker!  That would require flexibility, multi-tasking, and a focus on something other than "where is the next free snack and how many samples can I take home with me?"

A Huge Crapload of Samples, Yay!

However, since the expo is now over and it's too late to "live blog" it, how about I Dead-Blog it instead?

That's right, I'll start with some initial impressions, and then, LIVE throughout the day, I'll review and photograph some random stuff as I scarf it up. Bonus: this will allow me wander away from the computer to go to the gym and tackle dirty laundry and do Important Coaching Things like forgetting to invoice people and see what's going on at other blogs, yet to come back and add more stuff so I don't feel all guilty that I haven't managed to crank out even one simple blog post yet.

All this will be in totally random order, btw, because that's way easier!

Sound like a plan?

(All times Pacific Daylight Time, even though my brain is still on Pacific Standard Time):

8:57 PM:

Time to call it a night!

I am actually going to test a product called "Easy Up" that claims if I take it tonight I will wake up Easier and Alert tomorrow morning.

Let's see how that goes, shall we?

BTW, thank you all of you who had the patience to put up with this weird-ass Dead-Blogging.  Cranky Fitness readers rock. More products to discuss at a future date!

8:53 PM:


Many, many more "how did that happens?"  Best not to document with photographic evidence, I'm thinking. It wasn't pretty.

Must seriously reconsider policy of toting home 978,458 calories of tasty treats and rationalizing that because it was free and "natural," eating only 46,327 calories of it in any given day doesn't really count.

2:06 PM:

Oh crap. How did that happen?

That package was unopened a couple minutes ago!

Curse you, VitaTops!

And seriously I am now going on a walk FOR REAL. In the outdoors! Away from all these tempting snack foods.

(Taste: a little artifically-flavored on first bite, but grew strangely more and more appealing and my hopes to eat just a few bites and walk away were dashed.  100 calories, 4g protein, 7 sugars, 8 fiber, some natural ingredients, some fake, and annoyingly vitamin-fortified but I guess the name is kinda a clue that's gonna be the case).

12:40 PM:

In a shocking turn of events, Crabby contemplates sampling yet another convenient chocolate flavored snack product...

and yet instead opts for some defrosted home made chicken soup made with, at this point, strangely unfamiliar ingredients like "chicken" and "mushrooms" and "asparagus" fortified with... nothing!

She is thinking she may even go OUTSIDE for a WALK!

However, the siren call of tasty, packaged, almost-justifiable snack items is becoming audible again so stay tuned...

11:15 AM:

What is a natural foods conference if you can't put your hand on the ass of a Giant Ginseng?

11:12 AM:

Crabby discovers that her pal Jody has blogged, tweeted, FB'd, and instagrammed the expo, shared photographs with other bloggers there that Crabby never ran into and told her readers all about great new products. On the other hand, consolation prize: no clear evidence that Jody molested any giant vegetables.

10:55 AM:

Crabby remembers that she hasn't tweeted for ages and even throws in an #expowest2014 hashtag.

No one cares.

10:19 AM:

Beans in your breakfast cereal?

Sorry for the blurry photos, but the cereal was pretty darn good if you're feeling like a chocolate crunchy, less-junky alternative to cocoa krispie type offerings. 100 calories per serving, made mainly from beans, lentils, brown rice flour and sugar,  though not a nutritional powerhouse at 3 grams protein, 8g sugar, 2g fiber.

9:21 AM:

Crabby samples a couple of the power bars she took home, neither of which will be replacing her beloved Quest bars any time soon:

The supreme had a reasonable calorie/protein ratio (180/15g), and was very sweet tasting, almost like a conventional candy bar. Some would like this but it was too sweet for me, and I have a sweet tooth. They could have cut down on their 12 grams of sugars.   

The Nii tasted kinda blah, had 13g of sugar and only 8 grams of protein for 240 calories, but on the plus side, had only pretty natural sounding ingredients on the label.

9:04 AM:

Crabby refelcts on how thankful she feels that the Lobster is not just the worlds most patient spouse and Unofficial Blog photographer but that she has a Real Job so that Crabby can do things like Dead-Blog a trade show.

9:07 AM:

A low Cal Ice Cream featuring lots of Algae! Was it tasty? Crabby tries to remember... yes it was! What was it called? Damn!

But how many Algae ice creams could there be?

9:02 AM: Crabby suddenly remembers she's going to try to do some follow up on reader giveaway opportunities but wonders what the hell she did with all business cards she collected.

8:54 AM: Crabby remembers trying a Chapul chocolate thingy without paying much attention to the nutritional benefits--turns out it had an interesting protein source: Crickets!

Tasted fine though!

And didn't look particularly Crickety.

More to come as the day goes on... Feel free to comment on any damn thing, relevant or not to natural foods or blogger laziness/greediness or the experiment in Dead Blogging!


  1. Mmmm, tasty as those crickets sound, I just read about this study ... somewhere ... that said too much protein is bad for you. SUCH a shame.

    1. You totally crack me up Trabb's Boy. Where on earth could you have read such a ridiculous thing? :)

  2. Dead Blogging is the best. As for cricket chocolate, well, I won't say never because I am reluctant to deal in absolutes, but I won't be searching it out.
    As for natural foods I keep in mind that many things are natural, but not everything natural is meant to be eaten.

    1. Good point Leah! And a lot of the stuff labeled "natural" just ain't!

  3. Did you meet the Food Babe. She was at the same expo according to her website. That cereal sounds good, I hate beans, but I do love me some chocolate, this might be something I could stomach and get beans and lentils in my diet in a totally sneaky tasty way. Is it new or it something already on the market?

    1. I did not meet the Food Babe, alas! Was too busy scarfing up free food to notice anyone not handing me something with a toothpick in it.

      Will check on power O's SB, some of the stuff was already available and some looking for distributors.

  4. I love this! I'm cleaning my house today, so will be checking back on you periodically as a reward for getting this over with. No pressure, but I'm off to clean a bathroom, so I hope to come back in a bit and find something new! ;)

  5. It sounds like it was worth going to, and worth blogging after! Since i haven't heard anything else about it, i'll be waiting.

  6. Hope it's a really huge, really messy bathroom Shelley!

  7. Dead Blogging is awesome. Even your post titles crack me up!

    That bean cereal intrigues me because I've been missing cereal something fierce lately, and I happen to love beans. Could be a good combo, so I'll have to check it out. New noms are always a good thing. :-)

    1. Thanks Heather...hmm, with 2 cereal fans not intimidated by the bean concept...I may have to see if there are any giveaway possibilities!

    2. That thought fills me with glee! I just checked and the cereal doesn't appear to be out yet. Their website says "coming soon." NOMF.

  8. Love the dead blogging concept, Crabby! I am curious about: how much on-site consumption took place this time and did you come back all full from the excursion? What does the ass of a Giant Ginseng feel like? Were the cricket blocks crunchy?

    You really DID score a huge pile o' stuff - congratulations!! I bet you walked around long enough to have burned off many, many samples :)

    btw - algae have pretty much been part of ice cream (at least the more 'processed' type) for a while once scientists discovered it can help those ice crystals from forming. In my freezer, though - either the ice cream wouldn't be there long enough to form anything other than a sad, dented empty cardboard container or it would remain there sufficiently long (only because it would be a flavor unappealing to me personally) so as to not only form ice crystals - but, likely entire ice rinks suitable for skating!

    1. Good point about the algae ultrakaz, and had I been more in a "research" and less in a "scarfing" mode I might have thought to ask how much more algae than usual they use--it seemed in their case to be able to give it more richness with fewer calories but it was hard to hear above the sound of my slurping.

      And ginseng ass... not as firm as one one think! :)

  9. You are hilarious!! I thought I was not doing enough sharing! Tiffany from Runninghutch had tweets galore - I don't know how they do it! ;) AND how funny about where we met up - I will keep it a secret that it was in the bathroom! ;)

    So much to see too!!!! More bars & chips that I cared to see.. ;)

    I am not feeling well so not sure how I am going to get out my posts but I will try!!!

    1. Wait, Jody, you haven't even officially posted yet and you've already covered so much? And yeah, our secret bathroom rendezvous will remain secret as no one gets this far down in the comments anyway, right? :)

  10. Holy crap!!! You made out at the expo - that is a lot of stuff!!!
    You and Jody are funny with your bathroom meet-up!!!

  11. Cereal made from beans. I'm not sure I should be allowed to ever eat that. And with that, I've already said too much....

  12. Checking back for the latest and just saw the Vita Tops and, am I correct in that these are chocolate muffin tops?! How do I love them - let me count the ways (and I haven't even TASTED one).... First: they're chocolate; Second: even more chocolate in the form of chips; Third: relatively low cal Fourth: the best part of the muffin! Thinking it would have been worth the whole expo just for those :)

  13. I never tried a Vita Top, even during their diet blogger heyday back on aught nine.

    1. LOL Shelley, I was going to say. Here in Weight Watchers circles people have been loving Vita Tops for a long while. I've tried a few flavors, but they just aren't for me.

    2. That's pretty much what I figured. Or I thought I might like them TOO much, which is not a good thing for me, lol.

  14. I see you went for most things chocolate. As if sweets could mean anything else.

    The crickets.. ummm well I kind of think they'd be nothing to chirp about.

  15. The Expo looks like fun!

    A few things...

    I *love* your wife's hair. Mine is similarly grayed and I like the white on the sides. And Crabby, you've got the skin of a child - such a beautiful complexion!!

    VitaTops are indeed good - lots'o'fiber

    What in the hell is on top of the Giant Ginseng's haid????

    I had to eat insects in a lab class once - it's the legs that are freaky.

  16. I'm fascinated by the bean cereal. I like beans--even boring beans--a lot better than any boxed cereal I've ever been conned into trying. But! Chocolate flavored beans? If you can cook meat with chocolate surely it would be possible to do the same with beans. I think I will be experimenting.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  17. I am of the opinion that maybe beans don't belong in cereal. I don't know. I never expect my cereal to be super nutritious or anything.

  18. Dead blogging is the BEST. Do you get annoyed as I do when "protein" bars contain 8g of protein? Bitch, please. ::dramatic eye roll::

  19. sounds like fun. Thanks for sharing.

  20. So far a lot of the natural food seems to be sticking close to the look&feel of our favorite junk foods. I guess that is easiest with the giveaway snack foods. I am really hoping for a new staple replacement for pasta or rice for myself. Somebody recommended black rice to me but I think I have to go to a specialty store to find it.

  21. Isn't it funny how most every packaged food is 100 calories? How do they do that? Now if it filled you up like it had 1000 calories, maybe that would be something really special?!?


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