Just a few of the samples we received at the 2018 Expo West & Engredea Convention


    Who knew that sprouted wheat and fresh roast coffee would one day happily cohabitate in a loaf of bread?  Honestly, I didn’t see that coming! You can thank Alvarado Street Bakery for that union. For all you coffee lovers out there, you may be excited to hear that coffee is being paired up with everything from medicinal shrooms in “Mushroom Mocha” (Four Sigmatic) and almond milk in “Nitro Cold Brew” (Califia Farms), to gluten-free snack foods such as “Cold Brew Chocolate Ambition Bar” (Pamela’s), to “Fruit and Nut Fitballs with Coffee” (Nature’s Wild Organic).  

    What else is new and trending in 2018 in the world of healthy foods?  Read on to get the scoop on what the Human Garage Biochem Nutritionists and I discovered and our recommendations from this year’s largest health product show in the world, the Expo West and Engredea Convention in Anaheim, CA (March 7-11).   



Though some of these items aren’t necessarily new to the health product scene, we saw these items pop up more frequently this year as we walked the convention.

  • Turmeric/Curcumin
  • CBD Oil
  • Collagen
  • Non-dairy Milk Alternatives:  Oat, Cashew, Pea, Pistachio, Golden Almond Mylk
  • Non-dairy Ice Creams and Yogurts
  • Chicory Root, Monk Fruit (aka Luo Han Guo), Coconut Sugar as low glycemic, less processed sweeteners
  • Products sweetened only with fruit and nothing else
  • Buy One, Give One business model to help feed those in need (companies who embrace the TOMS Shoes model)
  • Coconut Water (several varieties/flavors)
  • Kombucha (several varieties/flavors)
  • Coffee (several varieties and flavor combinations in both food and beverages)
  • Matcha Green Tea (several varieties and flavor combinations in both food and beverages)
  • More Pasture Raised Animal Products   

Though there’s still much to be desired within the health food industry by Human Garage standards, we were glad to see that eating healthy is at least becoming more of a conscious choice, with the demand growing by the minute.  However, due to just about every food company wanting to jump on the health food bandwagon for a slice of “sinless” pie, let’s remember what often happens when large corporations get involved. Along with clever marketing tactics, highly processed ingredients such as white flour, sugars, chemicals, fillers, and preservatives that the human body wasn’t ever meant to consume, are being added to many so-called health foods.  Today, it’s even more vital to become a bona fide ingredient detective to protect our health.  Everyday, people come to Human Garage looking for help with gastrointestinal/digestive issues, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, brain fog, and painful, aching bodies.  Who do you know that struggle with these same nagging issues? Despite the population becoming more aware and educated on how to make healthier choices, these ailments still persist, seemingly even more today compared to just 10 years ago.  Could it be that some of the “health foods” we’re eating are actually harming us?

    Today, we are drowning in a sea of products, many of which are disguised as being “healthy”.  How then to navigate through the often deceiving earth-tone packaging with images of fresh foliage or granola, boasting phrases such as “all natural” and “non-GMO“, to find the ones that will truly do a body good?  Luckily for you, we’ve sifted through hundreds of products to share the top picks from our very own HG Biochem Department Nutritionists!

Like kids in a candy store at Expo West!  From left to right: Jill Bucaro (Biochem Nutritionist), Jennifer Liu – yours truly, and Simone Gloger (Head Biochem Nutritionist).



These are the basic criteria that we based our recommendations on.  Of course, we could be even pickier than this, but these are good guidelines to start with.  Look for these items online on Amazon, Thrive Market, or on the company’s website, as well as in health food stores such as Whole Foods, Erewhon, Rainbow Acres, Mother’s Market and at times you can even find them at Trader Joe’s, Vons, Ralph’s and select Costco warehouses.

  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Limited number of ingredients that are recognizable as real foods
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free
  • Low glycemic index using the least processed sweeteners in reasonable amounts (coconut sugar, monk fruit, tapioca syrup, chicory root, real fruit, minimal amounts of stevia–using the ground green leaf is best)
  • Preferably grain free
  • If there are grains, must be whole grain–sprouted is best!
  • Does not contain highly processed white flours, sugars or additives, such as maltodextrin or sugar alcohols (Xylitol in moderation is okay, however for some, such as myself, sugar alcohols can create excess gas!  Try it out first and see how your body reacts.)
  • Unless it’s noted in the description that the product contains animal protein, they’re all vegan.
  • Mom Approved…MUST TASTE GOOD!



  • NUD FUD Tomato Herb Crackers and Spirulina Banana Crisps
  • NATURE’S WILD ORGANIC Fitballs and Fruit Disks
  • MADE IN NATURE Figgy Pops, Choco Crunch
    • These aren’t necessarily low glycemic, but the sugar in these yummy balls of joy are from the real, raw ingredients such as fruit and coconut, and they’re grain free.  Even the tart cherries are sweetened with apple juice. Just a heads up, the written description on the website says that it contains maple syrup, but the ingredient list doesn’t show it.  We’re guessing it may be a typo, taking into consideration that maple syrup isn’t needed when you already have dates in the mix. This has just enough sweetness, which is why we like it!
  • TOSI Superbites
    • These are the go-to bars from another one of our nutritionists, Lisa.  It contains organic nuts and seeds so it’s low carb and high in fiber, and even though it’s sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice (one of the last ingredients listed next to sea salt), which doesn’t offer much nutritional value, it’s only 2 grams of sugar per serving (keep in mind that the entire bar is 2 servings!)  Each serving has 10 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and only 30 grams of sodium.
  • RAWHIDE SEED COMPANY Roasted Watermelon Seeds
    • These shelled watermelon seeds are delightfully lightweight, subtle in flavor with a nice crunch.  Only thing to be desired in this product is sea salt, which is less processed and has more minerals than regular table salt (which registers as toxic in the body).  I say that we all do our part to let RSC know that we want sea salt, before they go into full production! They’re still working on the Rawhide Seed Company website, and preparing to launch in stores.  It’s mother company, Freeland Foods, also has Go Raw, Junk-free Food under its umbrella, which is raw (dehydrated at low temperatures in order to keep more live enzymes intact), and has clean ingredients, definitely worthy of HG Approval!
  • WILD BRINE Smoky Kale Fermented Kraut with Probiotics
    • A tasty condiment for so many dishes, on top of crackers, or alone, Wild Brine kraut products are raw, vegan and have naturally occuring probiotics which are created in the fermentation process.
  • WILD BRINE Smoky Jalapeno Sriracha
    • We’re always looking for great tasting sauces with a nice consistency that contain good, whole food ingredients, without having to add sugar, gums or preservatives.  Aside from it not being labeled organic, (we’ve heard that it’s difficult to find organic tomatillos), everything else fits the bill! Since it’s made using Wild Brine’s own organic kraut, it has organic ingredients in it, it’s just not labeled as such. This sriracha is tasty with just enough heat, raw and double fermented for beneficial bacteria and probiotics for gut health.  The Spicy Kimchi Sriracha is just as flavorful and healthy, with a satisfying bite!
  • SAFE CATCH Seasoned Elite Tuna in a pouch
    • Safe Catch uses only sustainably wild caught tuna and each one is individually tested for mercury, not to exceed a level that is 10 times less than FDA Standards and is the only brand that meets strict criteria to be deemed safe for kids and pregnant women.  No preservatives or fillers are added and their tuna is artisanally cooked with nothing added and nothing drained, for full flavor and greater retention of omega 3’s.


  • NUCO Coconut Wraps
  • COLIMAN Fresh Cut Jicama Wraps
    • These wraps are simply slices of  jicama root brought to us by a company based in Mexico.  Although this is not certified as organic, we let this one slide, not only because it’s a healthy, fresh alternative to other grain-containing wraps, but it’s also a novel idea that we hadn’t thought of before.  These wraps are pliable and have a light, pleasant taste, reminiscent of a cross between an apple and pear. These are not yet available in our local stores, but hopefully will be soon. (Better yet, take a large jicama root and slice  your own wraps!)


  • FOUR SIGMATIC Golden Latte Mushroom Mix with Shiitake Mushrooms and Turmeric
    • Coffee-free/dairy-free, reminiscent of “golden mylk”, with shiitake mushroom powder and turmeric.  Coconut milk makes it creamy. This is one of Four Sigmatic’s latest creations which is not yet available, but I’m hoping that it will be soon!
  • FIRE CIDER Apple Cider Vinegar & Spice Tonic (Honey-free)


BABY FOOD PRODUCTS (Re-purposed to delight babies and grown ups alike!)

  • PLUM ORGANICS Baby Bowls (Pear, Cauliflower, Cherry & Raisin)
    • Plum Organics has a long line of baby and toddler-friendly foods with simple, real food ingredients.  They’ve come up with some creative flavor combinations, such as this one. We were able to try this as it was made into a dressing and mixed with curry roasted cauliflower, carrots, parsley, raisins, and quinoa to make a Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Salad!  Baby food used to make grown up food….what a novel idea!
  • SERENITY KIDS Baby Food for Conscious Families
    • Here’s another conscious food choice for your little bundles of joy, from our Head Nurtitionist and Fertility Expert, Simone. Responsibly-pasture-raised meat from small American family farms is simply combined with a handful of organic whole food ingredients.  As these are high in quality protein and healthy fats, I’m thinking of spending more time perusing the baby food aisle as these choices bring new meaning to “conscious convenience foods”!

Here we see “gourmet inspired” baby food made into a simple, nutritious dressing, and combined with curried cauliflower, carrots and quinoa, a new creation was born to satisfy even grown up palates!



  • SORE NO MORE Fast-acting Pain Relief Gel
    • They use only natural pain relief ingredients that are safe to use.  This cream is light, spreads easily and is non-greasy with very little smell.  Our shoulders were sore from carrying bags of samples and brochures at the convention, but after rubbing a little bit of Sore No More on our shoulders, they felt a whole lot better within the first couple minutes of applying!
    • THE DIRT PALEO PERSONAL CARE Coconut Oil Toothpaste, Decadent Cacao Mint
    • When Jill asked one of The Dirt reps what would be a good toothpaste that her son would like, this is what he handed her.  To test it out, he didn’t have us brush our teeth with it, but gave us little pea-sized pearl of toothpaste to taste and swallow!  Rest assured that this product, even though it’s not labeled organic, it is food grade safe, using coconut oil as the base and the gentle cleansing, detoxifying properties of bentonite clay and the antibacterial, antiseptic properties of essential oils to clean teeth, without any harmful additives or fillers.  Oh, and let’s not forget the addition of cacao, and their other varieties as well. A little bit goes a long way, so a tube should last you awhile
    • DR. LIPBANG’S Lip Freak Buzzing Lip Balm (Sin-O-Mint flavor)
    • We got a kick out of this fun product, which is an instant conversation starter!  Upon applying Lip Freak, our lips started tingling immediately. The tingling quickly escalated to “buzzing” and as the minutes wore on, the buzzing intensified!  This sensation we’re guessing comes from the essential oils used in the product. Although this claim isn’t made on their website, the lady handing out samples at the booth said that this will plump your lips up.  This appeared to be true within the first 15-20 minutes of applying, after which the buzzing sensation eventually wore off. Fun product, using natural ingredients…our lips felt moisturized and electrified!


So, there you have it for our health product picks, straight from the March 2018 Expo West and Engredea Convention!  We want to emphasize that the best healthy food should come from our own kitchens, but because we’re busy, sometimes convenience foods are just so…..convenient!  Now you know there are better choices out there, and hopefully this post will help you to make the best of it. If you still feel overwhelmed and unsure about what’s right for you and your family, we offer both group and individual instruction to help simplify and guide you through your healthy living journey.  



Our HG Biochem Department is currently taking sign ups for a Grocery Store Tour, on Saturday, April 14.  Location is still to be determined, but it will be somewhere within the vicinity of Venice or Santa Monica.  If you would like a more personal, in-depth education on how to shop smart for you and your family, and the reasons why, then the Grocery Store Tour is for you!  Space is limited to 6 participants, so please call Human Garage Customer Care today for more information and to reserve your spot at (323) 325-5787.  It’s a fun, simple and invaluable way to fill 90 minutes!

  • Health Coaching
  • Customized Meal Planning
  • Grocery Store Tours
  • Pantry Purges & Pantry Parties
  • Cooking Classes
  • Health Workshops



Everything we do is done with the intention of addressing the root cause of undesirable symptoms.  Our investigation is done with non-invasive testing to look beneath the surface. We use all natural, HG Approved supplements and modalities to cleanse and repair the underlying problems and internal terrain, with the purpose of bringing your body into homeostasis, and balance. Call (323) 325-5787 for more information.

  • BWA Test (Biochemical Wellness Analysis)
  • Analyzes 14 biomarkers that are critical to repair in order to help your vital systems work as they should, ideally like a well-oiled machine. We educate our clients about their bodies and provide support for their organs, digestive and metabolic processes, while bringing toxicity levels down, and inflammation and pH into balance.
  • We also offer testing for gluten sensitivity and other food allergies, heavy metal and mold toxicity, lyme disease, fungus, parasites and viruses.


Today, we highlighted some of our favorite finds from this year’s largest health product expo in world.  By making health-conscious choices to align your food with your body, you become more at ease as you lessen external stressors.  Did you know that misalignment is a constant stressor and puts us in a continual state of fight or flight?  This increases cortisol production which in turn causes our adrenal glands to work harder, often leading to chronic fatigue and anxiety if it’s not addressed early on.  


     With the month of April quickly approaching, it’s time to spring into optimal health by discovering for yourself the alignment process at Human Garage. We invite you to begin your journey with us!


The Human Garage Alignment Protocol consists of four phases

to help you live a fully aligned life:

1) Assess  2) Repair 3) Integrate  4) Align For Life

Give our Alignment Advisor a call to bypass the waitlist and book an Initial Consultation today!  

Jillian Sommerfeld, HG Alignment Advisor






Jennifer is an Alignment Advisor, Motion Mechanic, and Staff Writer for Human Garage.  Having worked in the fitness and wellness industry for over 17 years as a workshop presenter, personal chef, certified fitness and health coach, her passion is to guide and inspire people to live healthy, radiant lives, from the inside out!



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