Report From The Raw Living Expo 2014

February 4th, 2014 - filed under: Furthermore » Reviews

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On the road! Excited en route to the Expo . . .

This past Sunday, February 2nd, Waits and I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Raw Living Expo here in southern California. I’m a veteran Veg Fest attendee, but this was my first strictly-raw event, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As well, I had the wee 3 year old in tow (with his very own press pass, haha!) so I wasn’t sure how the day would unfold. Calm and engaged exploration of all things raw? Or cranky tantrum explosion with a side of kale chips? It’s pretty unpredictable these days . . . )

As it went, we had a wonderful time and the little mister worked that expo like a pro, I’d say. Especially considering the amount of raw cacao he was ingesting, oi! We didn’t make it to any of the talks, but that’s okay. We had a great time wandering the convention floor, checking out the goods and talking to friendly folks.


We found all sorts of fun new stuff, but we also had the chance to rediscover some of our old favorites. The truth is, between divorce, an out-of-state move, and the aftermath of those two things, I’ve been a bit out of touch with the raw community in recent years. So for me, the Raw Living Expo was a perfect opportunity to reignite that old flame. I can’t believe I’d forgotten how inspiring the raw food world can be!


Beautiful raw juices, brimming with life force. And for this particular brand, brimming with turmeric!

Freaky fresh turmeric root.

We ate a lot of awesome stuff that day, and saw so many amazing products. From juicers and blenders, to essential oils and power crystals, to kale chips, flax crackers and of course, more raw chocolate than any sane parent would ever knowingly and voluntarily offer to a three year old (I plead insanity?)

I really wanted to find you all some extra-special raw beauty and body products, but alas, there just weren’t any stand-outs for me. Sorry guys! But as far as food and lifestyle go, there was lots to love. So, may I please present to you: My tippy top three items that gave me a ridiculous case of the “OMG excited!”s.

# 3


Word on the street is, Brussels sprouts are the next big green. What do you think? Are you a die-hard kale fan, or are you open to crowning a new Queen Crucifer?

Regardless of your ultimate allegiance, there’s no denying these Brussel Bytes are the BOMB. Brought to us by Wonderfully Raw – the team behind the oh-so-delectable Coco-roons – this new product just knocked my dang socks off. It’s basically like a kale chip, but with a bit more chew. Heavenly. AWESOME. Brussels Bytes should be available in Whole Foods soon, but for now you can order them online.

# 2

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Dudes. Did you know there’s such a thing as a freestanding and portable sauna??! I had no idea!

These ClearLight infrared saunas are amazing. Seriously, where do I sign up? They’re made from sustainably harvested cedar wood! They only have a 4×4 ft footprint! You can put them anywhere!!!

Okay, so I know it’s sort of a weird thing to put on this little list, but I couldn’t not include it. Because, well, it really was my second favorite thing I saw all day.

Sweating is one of the absolute easiest (and actually, you now, scientifically proven) ways to “detox” the body. And that’s why saunas (steam rooms, sweat lodges, etc) have been used by so many cultures as part of their cleansing and healing practices. I swear, just being inside that small warm space, I totally felt my entire body relax.

I will own one of these some day. Oh yes I will. Mark my words!

# 1


It is called Coco Jack, and we adore it.

This product is not only genius simplicity, but it’s also FUN! Coco Jack is basically comprised of a stainless steel tool and a rubber mallet – both food grade and both made in the USA. Together, this odd pair unites in harmony to form the perfect coconut-opener. Yup, that’s all. So no more whacking and hacking blindly with large and dangerous blades. Just a perfectly round hole in the top of your young coconut, every single time:

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That kiddo sure does love him a good young Thai coconut. And he *really* loved opening it!


So yes, as simple as it sounds, the Coco Jack was easily, EASILY the best thing I saw all day. And if you eat young coconuts on any kind of regular basis, you’ll probably want one of these.

Also, this shirt needs to get in my closet, STAT. Brilliant, right?!


A beautiful altar on the lawn outside, made of fruit, flowers, sea shells, pine cones, and other little gifts of nature. This was one of the most beautiful natural altars I’ve ever witnessed. So very inspiring.

I had so much fun at the Raw Living Expo, reconnecting with the awesome raw community and renewing my passion for this exciting, vibrant lifestyle. But mostly, for me, it was such a blessing to spend the day with my son, sharing this with him, now that he’s old enough to begin to understand.

So cheers, to many more in our future!


♥ ♥ ♥

  • bohemianmatka

    So happy that you and the little man had a wonderful time at the Expo! That Coco Jack looks like so much fun, and the Brussel Bytes are something I will have to order and try… maybe stash them in the truck or my daughter’s packpack for a on-the-go snack!

    I’ve actually never seen a natural alter like that before, and it is beautiful!

  • Rachel in Veganland

    That altar is so gorgeous! Thanks for a great report! So glad that you and Waits had a great time at the expo–I’m hankering for a coco jack myself now!

  • theveganchickpea

    this looks SO FUN! i love a good kale chip, but brussels sprouts are my most favorite vegetable so ohmygosh i’m excited for these chips! kind of scared about the price tag, though…

    and the sauna looks amazing. when i’m a millionaire, imma getting one!

    ps- can you take me to the next raw food expo as your child and feed me an abundance of cacao? that way i can’t feel guilty about it ;)

  • lysette

    Even though my birthday just passed I think the coconut jack pack and tank top is going to be a belated gift to myself or a reeeally early birthday gift.

    When I was in Scandinavia everyone had a sauna, like having a toilet, it was just a requirement in their home or cabin.

    I appreciate your quality over quantity. I’d have to travel 5 hours from where I live to go to an veg expo. This is the first review I’ve seen of such event that left me thinking “That would have been cool to go to”. Often the zillions of pictures a blogger puts up makes the event seem claustrophobic – to me – with the exception of VV Con. I wish I had gone to that.

  • saraandcompany

    stupid question alert but aren’t UV things bad for your skin? Does the sauna just use energy from the UV rays? I actually googled this and am so confused haha.

  • Bianca-Vegan Crunk

    Dude, I am so afraid of raw coconuts because of a bad experience with me, a coconut, and a hammer…..I need a Coco Jack!!

  • Claudia

    I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your question to my last comment, but you did such a good job reporting on stuff! I love the new/unique things and that Coco Jack totally fits the bill. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun!

  • vegyogini

    I’m pretty sure I need all 3 of these, especially the Coco Jack!

  • Kendra

    Sayward, been following your blog for a few months and love your posts! I look forward to all your product reviews, DIY info and adventures! My husband and I are currently living in Germany and have a free standing sauna in our guest bedroom that we’ve NEVER used!! I know it’s very popular over here in Europe, though it’s not one of the cool light saunas. Though electricity and heating are very expensive in our home so maybe that’s way we never tried it! Glad you and Waits had a good day!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Jeremy and I tore into a bag of Brussel Bytes the other day – he was amazed at how good they were, and I was amazed all over again because they were even better than I remembered. You should definitely try them – they are delicious!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Isn’t that pretty?? I saw it and was so stunned. Never seen an altar quite like that. =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I was never a huge fan of Brussels until a few years ago. I mean I didn’t hate them or anything, they just weren’t my fave. But I think you may be onto something! I’ve been eating them much more and yeah, they are fantastic! =D

    I’m on the when-I’m-a-millionaire sauna plan too, haha. Some day right?? And girl, don’t feel bad about raw cacao. Never! ;)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Happy belated birthday! That’s a great idea and a great self birthday gift. =)

    And thanks for the feedback re: quality over quantity. I’ve seen lots of those overwhelming photo posts too, and I think sometimes there’s some fun in that, but yeah – I wanted to provide some real info and a useful review. Glad you appreciated it!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Not stupid! It’s a good question. As far as I understand, the Clearlight uses infrared, not UV. They’re totally different wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum.

    From the Clearlight website:

    “>> Is far infrared heat safe?

    Infrared heat is completely safe and all objects give off and receive infrared heat. In fact, it is so safe, hospitals use similar heaters to warm newborns. Infrared is a part of nature and essential for life. The human body gives off and receives infrared in the far infrared band. When a mother rubs a babies stomach to relieve pain, it is the infrared heat from her hand that is causing the healing effect. We have tuned our True Wave heaters to give off far infrared in this same range for maximum absorption by your body and for maximum therapeutic benefits.”

  • Sayward Rebhal

    You do! They take all the work out of it. Ive had a few near-misses opening coconuts, so this was a pretty exciting find. =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    No problem Claudia, and glad you liked the report! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    2 of them are pretty easy to attain . . . the sauna might take a little planning, haha.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Oh my gosh Kendra, you HAVE to use it! What a gift to have that, please please please go sit in there right now, for me! Haha, but seriously. It’s so good for you – take advantage!

  • bohemianmatka

    I order a lot of our household stuff from Amazon, so I will add on a bag of Brussel Bytes to our delivery!

  • saraandcompany

    That sounds pretty awesome actually! Too bad I hate humidity because it feels like 500 people are touching me at once.