Imagine for a moment a blocks-long Whole Foods supermarket where you can get free samples of everything. Then you’ll have an idea of the size and scope of the 2012 Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, California. Here are my top picks…


Many foods at the show were healthier versions of American favorites, such as pizza, ice cream and chips. And literally hundreds of products were gluten-free.

Gayle’s Sweet ‘N’ Sassy Barbecue Sauce offers a delicious combination of spices—garlic, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and mustard seed—but no gluten (and no fat, no corn syrup and just a smidgen of salt). Six flavors, from Original to Chipotle. $3.99 per 20-ounce bottle.

Talenti Gelato is far and away the best ice cream and sorbet that I’ve ever tasted. There are 19 rich, delicious flavors weighing in at 110 to 260 calories per one-half-cup serving—but the flavor is so satisfying that a smaller serving is plenty. The Sea Salt Caramel Gelato and Roman Raspberry Sorbetto are to die for! $7.99 to $8.99 per pint.

Alpina Revive Yogurt combines thick, high-protein Greek yogurt with gluten-free granolas rich with fruit, grains and spices. It comes in four flavors—blueberry, mango, honey and plain. Perfect for a high-protein snack or quick meal. $14.32 for assorted packs of eight six-ounce servings.

Bold Organics Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pizza was created by award-winning chef Eric Brenner. (Bon Appétit praised his restaurant Chez Leon as the “best neighborhood restaurant” in St. Louis.) It was so delicious, I didn’t care that it didn’t taste like my favorite New York pizza. $8.99 to $11.23 per 11-to-13.5- ounce pizza.

Corazonas Tortilla Chips have a secret ingredient—plant sterols, which more than 140 scientific studies show can lower artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. Look for Black Bean & Cheese…Lightly-Salted…and Squeeze Of Lime. $2.99 per seven-ounce package.


Begley’s Earth Responsible Products from the actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr., are a top choice for safe cleaning. Unlike many green products on the market, the labels list all the ingredients, so you know for sure that they’re nontoxic. The products include Aroma-Therapeutic Dish Soaps (16 ounces, $6.99)…Multi Purpose Cleaner (16 ounces, $6.99)…and Household Stain & Odor Remover (16 ounces, $6.99).


PGX (PolyGlycoplex), a combination of fibers, is viscous—meaning it slows digestion, regulating blood sugar and controlling appetite. Unlike other viscous fibers such as psyllium, it doesn’t immediately thicken in liquid. It can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol.