One of the perks of living in Boulder, CO is that it’s a haven for healthy food. I first fell in love with Boulder when I came to visit in 2015. As I was and still am sans gluten, dairy and eggs in my diet, along with corn, soy, sugar and grains when I can help it, dining out at restaurants has never been my forte. It’s much easier to cook at home than to try and explain your dietary restrictions to a server who has never stepped foot in the restaurant’s kitchen.
Enter Boulder, where if the restaurant isn’t entirely gluten-free, everything is at least labeled for all major diets and allergens, and there are options to fit my crazy diet everywhere I go. Boulder felt like an answer to my prayers.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. Even the founder of Celestial Seasonings, the major herbal tea company, started picking wild herbs in the Rocky Mountains and selling them in muslin bags in the 1960s. Now, you visit any of the dozens of healthy grocery stores in Boulder (dozens), or the local farmers markets, and you’ll meet companies or individuals testing new healthy products.
Sampling healthy products is just about my favorite thing to do. My husband Dan and I take every opportunity to sample healthy foods. Because, let’s face it, healthy foods aren’t often cheap. It’s scary to buy a new product not knowing if I’ll like it. This is why just in the past few months, I’ve attended a grain-free fest in Denver, an anniversary celebration at Natural Grocers, an Earth Day fest at local grocery store Alfalfa’s, and a vegan fest in Boulder, not to mention weekends at Costco. Each of these activities offered samples of an array of healthy products on the market!
Whether sampling at an event, or daring to purchase a product I hope to love, here are some of the latest products I’m drooling over. Most of these are sold nationally, so check your favorite healthy store!
Rebbl – Guilt-free chocolate milk infused with superfoods that you can’t even taste? Sign me up! It’s shocking how healthy these deliciously sweet beverages are, made with plant-based ingredients, like coconut milk, and sweetened with things like coconut sugar or stevia, both said to affect blood sugar levels less than regular sugar. While the golden turmeric drink is mighty popular, my favorites are always chocolate, like the reishi chocolate or maca mocha!
Kombuchas – Remember when we lived in a world where there was only GT kombucha? While I still love GT, especially their special spring Bloom flavor, the plethora of options available now amaze me. I have too many favorites to name just one! My go-to brands are Health-Ade and Brew Dr., especially the floral Love flavor. (I had it available at my wedding!) If looking to win the battle against soda, look for Raw LIVE Soda, a kombucha brand that makes soda-flavored kombuchas. (I once saw a motorcycle dude walk into a healthy local grocery store, grab a whole handful of these, probably about ten, and head right for the check-out counter. If that’s not testimonial, I don’t know what is!)
Coconut Bliss – Eating this vegan ice cream feels like I’ve died and gone to heaven. I had the surreal experience of tasting an assortment of flavors at Arise Music Festival. I left and came back multiple times, than stood there for a good thirty minutes deciding which flavor to buy. They were all too good! I had never bought a pint at the grocery store, because they cost more than the others. Now I know why. The ingredients are incredibly solid, sweetened with things like coconut sugar and agave, and they have far fewer ingredients than other plant-based ice creams. Bonus: The brownie and cookie flavors are also gluten-free! I served this at my wedding as well. I will never go back to the others!
Lavva – My go-to vegan yogurt is So Delicious, because it’s available everywhere I shop. I stick to getting unsweetened or vanilla unsweetened, as anyone who attended one of my Sugar Blues workshops knows that a serving of yogurt could have as much sugar as a bowl of ice cream. At the fests I recently attended, I got to try Lavva, which combines pili nuts with coconut oil, and Forager, a cashew-based option. I tried the unflavored of both to get the true flavor, and Lavva may be my new favorite food item to go purchase! It tasted so good without flavor or sweetener, a rarity in the yogurt world.
Siete – Oh, the plethora of healthy options I can now find in the snack aisle that deter me from my carb-free lifestyle. In order to not leave with a new snack at every shopping trip, I just stay away from that aisle. But one mostly guilt-free option is Siete grain-free tortilla chips. They have the consistency of a corn chip, but they are Paleo-friendly, not easy to find in a chip aisle! They are made with cassava flour, which I had lots of in Costa Rica recently and fell in love with. These chips also come in yummy vegan flavors, like ranch and nacho. Our Costco started selling them in big bags at an affordable price.
Autumn’s Gold – So many granola options! I’d love to try them all, but since I try to stay away from carbs as much as possible, my go-to granola-like option is Autumn’s Gold grain-free granola. Autumn’s Gold is distributed by General Mills, believe it or not. It’s a solid Paleo option, as it feels like you’re eating granola, but it’s actually made with almonds, pecans, coconut, sunflower seeds, etc. They also make bars, which are my go-to snack on a hike now. They are soft like granola bars, not rock solid like a lot of other nut bars. I purchase these from Costco.
I’ll stop here, as this is a lot to process. But check back often for updates on products I try, love and support! As a reminder, I am not paid by any of these companies to endorse them. I just fully support companies who make the effort to make the food world a more livable place for people with food allergies, and I want to give them as much credit as they deserve! Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, or what healthy products you’ve tried recently. Cheers!