6 Influential People I Met At Expo West
Expo West was a blast! I sincerely look forward to it every single year. I wrote a lengthy post about my Favorite Finds at the show which you can read, here.
This blog is different.
It’s about six people that are shaking up the natural products/food industry, as well as the health & wellness industry, and I am grateful that I was able to chat with them at Expo West. Some I talked to for awhile, while others I only talked to for a few minutes and even ran into by chance… but either way they have made an impression on me, so let’s get this blog going!
Melissa is the creator and founder of a very small, never-heard-of-before (that’s a joke BTW) eating plan called The Whole 30. The Whole 30 is a 30-day nutritional reset program that focuses on eating real Whole Foods. She has authored 4 New York Times bestselling books: It Starts With Food, The Whole30, Food Freedom Forever, and The Whole30 Cookbook. She’s also authored two brand new books: The Whole30 Day by Day and The Whole30 Fast and Easy Cookbook, which just came out in December 2017.
Here’s what I love about Whole 30: It’s all about eating REAL FOOD! That’s even my slogan for Krysten’s Kitchen: Be Real. Eat Real! We are real people, and I believe we should be eating REAL FOOD! Also, it’s a good snapshot of how we eat on a day to day basis. We eat a mix between Paleo and Whole 30 and, on occasion, legumes (beans as well as quinoa). While we do eat sweets and baked goods (paleo) on and off, we generally eat meals which are Whole 30. I love her cookbooks, have used them to make many meals and will continue to use them as they are great resources.
I love how The Whole 30 has been a game changer for so many people. It’s not about weight loss (though many people experience that during the 30 days), but about developing a healthy relationship with food, resetting your body and removing bad relationships with the foods that we often use as a crutch. Sometimes people are totally unaware of their relationship they have with food! There are countless amazing testimonials of those who have completed Whole 30 online.
Here’s the funny thing - Jeff and I have never done a Whole 30… for a few reasons. One - we eat that way on an almost daily basis. Most of our meals consist of grass-fed meats, organic veggies and our “carb” is typically cauliflower rice. We don’t eat much sugar, and when we have smoothies there is either a small bite-sized piece of banana (those who watch my IG story know that) or no banana at all, lots and lots of zucchini and things like spinach or Four Sigmatic Lions Mane or Chaga (mushroom superfoods). Another reason is that, while I do love to eat this way (Whole 30), I also love working with companies that are not Whole 30 compliant and often collab or work with brands to recipe develop or do sponsored work that doesn’t fall under the Whole 30 umbrella. A girl’s gotta eat, right? Our "diet" or way of eating is still is all based around REAL FOOD and more often than not, is Paleo or Whole30.
Will I do a Whole 30? Well, I am definitely not opposed to it as we eat that way a lot (at least 80-90% of the time).
I ran into Melissa at Expo West, I had a cup of The Osso Good’s new Thai Coconut Carrot soup in my hand and a big smile on my face when I spotted her. She couldn’t have been sweeter! We talked for what was probably 2.5 minutes, and, while it wasn’t for that long, she gave me her attention and it felt like we were the only two people there… well, plus my hubby since he took our picture (notice that Osso Good soup in my hand haha). She asked me if I had found anything good at the show (and actually cared about my answer - it wasn’t just a courtesy question). She was so incredibly nice, and I just admire her so much! She’s a total boss babe, as she’s created something that is changing people’s lives for the better (for reals!), is so down to earth and super hilarious on her IG stories, too. She’s motivating to everyone, cares about health and wellness and I am definitely thankful I ran into her at Expo and was able to get a picture with her. Lesson learned - I should just carry one of her books and a sharpie with me everywhere I go so I could have gotten it signed! Hah!
Meredith is one of the co-founders and CEO of The Osso Good Co, and I am so grateful for my time with her at Expo! I literally spent 15 minutes (or more) at her booth asking her questions about her brand new cookbook (which I love) and learning about her company. When Melissa asked me if I had found any awesome companies, I told her The Osso Good Co (since I was drinking it right in front of her) and I whole(30)-heartedly meant it! It was featured in my Top 10 Favorite Finds at Expo West 2018! Their new line of soups and their broths are not only Krysten’s Kitchen approved, but are all Whole 30 approved, as well as paleo and super delicious! They are all made with clean ingredients, have no sugars, fillers or anything artificial.
Meredith recently released a cookbook called, The 7-Day Bone Broth Diet Plan: Healing Bone Broth Recipes to Boost Health and Promote Weight Loss! It’s not about eating only bone broth for 7 days, it’s all focused around eating REAL FOOD (do we see a theme with eating real food? Okay, cool!). Meredith’s recipes for bone broth combine her background in cellular molecular biology, traditional Chinese medicine, and herbalism. Her book focuses on gut-health and healing your gut, which helps with digestion and building a healthy relationship with food, all while eating good-for-you, nutrient dense, delicious foods that will leave you feeling totally satisfied. It’s also about reducing inflammation and joint pain, having better quality sleep, high energy levels, and bone, skin, nails and hair health through eating the foods and recipes she talks about in this book.
I loved chatting with Meredith about her cookbook. It’s truly beautiful and so well written, plus the recipes are insanely delicious! She was so sweet to give me tips about hopefully writing my own cookbook someday, which I appreciated. I love when people are happy to help others and share their tips.
I highly recommend her cookbook and all of the products from The Osso Good Co! Everything is high quality and so tasty! Try them here.
Okay, so this is funny, and I honestly didn’t realize this until now when I started writing this blog. About a week before Expo West, I saw Kelly post about Meredith Cochran’s new cookbook on her Instagram stories. That's how I found out about Meredith's book! It seems that each of these beautiful women I’ve written about so far are all connected in my eyes in this blog. (I was drinking The Osso Good Soup when I met Melissa. Meredith is the co-founder of The Osso Good Co and the author of the 7 Day Bone Broth Diet, and I first heard about Meredith’s book when Kelly posted about it on her Instagram. Does that make sense? Good!) Kelly is an incredible author and holistic nutritionist, wellness expert, health coach and a total boss babe! Through the New Hope Blogger Co-op I was invited to attend an event with Now Foods and Kelly at their booth at Expo!
Kelly and Now have partnered up to celebrate Now Foods’ 50th Anniversary, as well as Kelly’s beautiful book, Body Love. At the event, Kelly made one of her FabFour Smoothies for us, which was totally delicious! She talked about the importance of using The Fab Four Formula method to keep you satisfied and full with these nutrient-dense foods by choosing a fat, fiber, protein and greens. Her method is easy to follow and her book, Body Love, has so many smoothie recipes!
Kelly even has a SMOOTHIE BUILDER on the NOW FOODS website which you can see here! It's easy to use and fun, too!
I love that Kelly believes in eating real food and making sure that people are using the Fab Four for all meals, not just smoothies. She has worked with A-list celebs like Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba and many more to transform their diets and their relationship with food. With The Fab Four Formula, you are able to balance blood sugar and rid those hunger hormones.
We all got to meet and chat with Kelly, and she was super sweet. She told me that she loved my bubbly energy, and she was kind enough to pop in on my Instagram stories to talk about a few of her Fab Four Smoothies. I am so grateful that I got to meet her! She cares so much about this industry and changing people’s lives from the inside out!
Tero is the man who has gotten my family on shrooms, and I’m so grateful! Tero is the founder and president of one of my favorite companies, Four Sigmatic. He’s my shroomy friend and has taught me so much about mushrooms and how beneficial they can be. I wrote a blog all about Why I Put Mushrooms In My Coffee Everyday and Why I Eat Mushrooms Every Single Day because my husband and I truly believe in the benefits of mushroom superfoods.
Tero’s book, Healing Mushroom, is a must read. It will open your eyes to the wonderful world of mushrooms and how they can help with so many aspects of your health. It also has many recipes that use his incredible line of mushrooms. He is so incredibly knowledgeable about mushrooms and has turned his love for them into an incredibly successful business. He was chosen as one of the world’s Top 50 Food Activists by the Academy of Culinary Nutrition and has been featured in Vogue, Time, Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar, Bon Appetite and so much more.
Tero grew up in Finland and later earned a degree in Chemistry and a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition at Cornell University. You can say that he knows a thing or two about plant-based nutrition, superfoods, adaptogens and so much more.
I am so glad that I got a chance to chat with him at Expo West. Just like with Melissa, lesson learned. I should have carried my copy of Healing Mushrooms with me along with a pen so he could sign my book. I highly recommend the products from Four Sigmatic, and you can use my code KRYSTENSKITCHEN to save 10% off your order. His book, is also a must-read!
We drink our Mushroom Coffee every single day, here's a recipe for my morning mushroom latte.
Mark is the founder of Primal Kitchen - another one of my favorite companies! We have been eating their products for a few years now, but never had the chance to meet Mark until Expo West.
Mark has authored many books, including The Primal Blueprint which was basically the foundation and beginning of the growth in the Paleo movement in 2009. The Paleo diet, also known as “the caveman diet,” is about eating the foods that were available to early people such as: nuts, seeds, meat, fish, healthy fats (fatty meats, coconut, avocado, olive oil) fruits, veggies, etc. It eliminates legumes, grains, gluten, dairy (except for ghee), corn, sugar and anything processed, which are harder for our bodies to digest.
I fell in love with Primal Kitchen’s new product, Turmeric Lemon Marinade, and it was one of my favorite finds from Expo West 2018. It’s so good, I literally could drink it! All of the dressings, marinades, bars and more from Primal Kitchen Foods are absolutely incredible, are made with clean ingredients and I highly recommend them.
While visiting the Primal Kitchen Food’s booth at Expo West, Mark was there and signed his newest book for me: The Primal Kitchen Cookbook: Eat Like Your Life Depends On It!
Because of my intolerances to certain foods and because I have eliminated certain foods due to PCOS, the easiest way to describe how I eat is the Paleo diet. While I do eat beans, quinoa, peanuts and a bit of goat cheese or mozzarella on a rare occasion, the paleo diet is what makes me feel the best and allows me to rest assured that I can eat anything within its guidelines. When I eliminated many foods from my life in 2010 I didn’t know about the paleo diet just yet, although I was eating that way all along. I am thankful that Mark’s dedication to eating this healthy lifestyle has jumpstarted an incredible community of those who eat the same way, which has also launched a whole new industry of paleo-friendly products that make it safe for many to eat with their food allergens or intolerances.
For me, personally, eating a mostly paleo diet has been wonderful, as I have been able to keep many of my PCOS symptoms at bay. You can learn more about my story with PCOS, here:
If you don’t know that name, that’s okay. Chances are you know who he is if you saw him, and you probably already use some of his products. For over 30 years, Bob’s Red Mill has been fully committed to providing people with the best quality foods and ingredients. Bob is passionate about health and taking good care of our bodies with the food that we eat.
Bob and his wife, Charlee, started Bob’s Red Mill with the mission to provide their line of healthy and affordable products to people everywhere.
On his 81st birthday, Bob decided that, rather than receiving gifts, he would give his employees the gift of a lifetime. He surprised his employees by giving each one of them stock in his company, making every employee an employee-owner of Bob’s Red Mill.
Every single Bob's Red Mill employee (employee-owner) is committed to sourcing, milling, testing, packaging, labeling and selling the finest products available. And that’s just what they do. I use Bob’s Red Mill’s Paleo Flour to make the most delicious Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies ever, and their arrowroot flour to make baked goods as well as my homemade deodorant and so much more.
I waited in line for probably 40 minutes to meet Bob. I don’t even wait that long for Disney rides (and you know how much we love Disney!), but here’s why it took so long… Bob took his time with each and every single person who waited to meet him and have him sign a cookbook. There was a true genuine kindness that everyone who met him could feel. He didn’t ask about what you do just because… he truly wanted to know. He took the time to speak to everyone who waited in line to meet him, and I was okay with waiting in that line because I knew that when it was my turn, I would have the time to tell him how wonderful his products are and how truly lovey he is.
Bob signed a cookbook for me that day, and we took a photo. His servant-heart and giving attitude, not only to those who waited in line, but more importantly, to his employees by giving them his successful company that they all were a part of is something that is not seen much of these days. Being a leader doesn’t mean ordering everyone else around or just being in charge, but also being a servant leader to those who work with you and under you. He truly exudes what a true leader is and should be. I am grateful that I was able to meet him.