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Run, Eat, Run: Food Show Finds

Editor Nicki Miller saw some interesting items at a recent natural foods show.

Flax and oats and seeds galore. Gluten free and non-dairy. Real fruit and veggies. Protein. Protein. Protein. It seems as if companies have keyed in on some common themes when it comes to fuel for us active types.

The perks of this nutrition-minded editor included a jaunt up the California coast earlier this month from my home base in San Diego to Anaheim to attend the Natural Products Expo West. With only one day, it was downright impossible to sample my way through more than 2,600 exhibitors. But I did have a few highlights to share, including one that I won’t even taste:

Chapul’s Cricket Bar

Yes, the cricket as in the loudmouth insect. The makers use “cricket flour” as a source of protein (note the keywords above!). Though the semi-vegetarian in me didn’t want to try the animal, I grabbed one to share with my co-workers — most journalists will try anything. “You can see a leg!” was an initial comment. Though truthfully, it’s not the case. The Thai-flavored bar I chose has coconut, ginger and lime along with nuts and dates, so the “leg” was just one of those other ingredients. It’s “cricket flour,” people, so the crickets are really, really ground up. (You’d never see this bar on “Fear Factor,” even though fear was a factor for me.) The handful of colleagues brave enough to eat cricket agreed the bar was tasty and the flavor was like curry.

Sneakz Organic Chocolate Milkshake

“A full serving a veggies in every box!” If you’re going to drink chocolate milk, why not have it laced with carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli — if you can’t even taste a root, tuber or the like? This is packaged to appeal to children, but a lot of us will dig this for a post-run protein-punch. Be warned, the sugar content (19 grams in 8 ounces) is comparable to straight-up chocolate milk.

Paleo Hero Primal Muesli

If added sugar isn’t your thing, here’s a product to try. Plenty of people are jumping on the Paleo train, what with keywords like protein, all natural and gluten-free. You can easily decipher ALL of the ingredients in this granola, and it tastes more like your neighbor’s homemade batch with big pieces of nuts and dried berries.

RELATED: Nutrition Lessons Learned On A Run

Tips For Weirdos Like You And Me

I end each blog with a few ideas to satiate the adventuresome…

Kona Kase
If you want a food show to come to you, this is a nutritional subscription box for runners and cyclists. Kona Kase asked Competitor to curate its March box, which means members get a box of treats beloved by Yours Truly — the editors of this magazine. Featuring KIND, Sport Beans, Honey Stinger, Nuun, Quest Bar, Picky Bar, and GU. Join now and use code ‘COMPETITOR’ to get your first month for $10.

Tea Drinker?
I’m excited about the idea of savory teas. Numi is combining organic vegetables and herbs with decaf tea for flavors such as Tomato Mint, Spinach Chive, and Broccoli Cilantro. It may not qualify as a serving of veggies, but you gotta keep hydrated. Or use it when cooking noodles or rice and make your own variation of ochazuke.

Pizza Lover?
If you like to pepper your diet with a pepperoni pie every so often, you’re bound to have leftovers. Reheat a slice in a nonstick skillet to keep the crust crispy … and avoid dripping melted cheese all over the inside of your toaster oven.

Tweet your tips and nutrition queries at me, and I might use them in the blog or in Competitor magazine.