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The 9 Coolest Food & Fitness Products From IDEA World 2015

By VALAER MURRAY

Recently, the LIVESTRONG.COM editorial team attended the annual IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo, the Los Angeles-based bonanza of all things exercise-related. Along with trainers, nutritionists and other industry insiders, we  got to see products and demos from well-known brands and personalities like Jillian Michaels, Zumba, Lorna Jane and Bowflex as well as up-and-comers like KiraGrace, RAD Roller, Skoop and Slackline. There was a lot to take in, test out and taste. Here are 9 things that caught our eye:

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Niki Gruttadauria trying the Core Stix

1. Core Stix
When Niki Gruttadauria, LIVESTRONG.COM’s Social Media Manager, was singled out and called up to demo Core Stix, she cautiously acquiesced. While Niki tested her ab strength using the different sticks offering varied resistance levels, the rep told her that Core Stix are great for functional training. Did Niki feel the burn? Absolutely. Is this the next big thing? Only time will tell.

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In-Trinity demonstration at IDEA Fit

2. In-Trinity Board
Meanwhile, LIVESTRONG.COM Blog Manager Lili Ladaga may have stumbled on the next big thing in exercise mash-ups: the In-Trinity Board. The board encourages a workout that combines moves from Pilates, yoga and martial arts. Plus, it has fun accessories like sticks and straps. “It’s a simple-looking piece of equipment,” she says. “But the shape, incline/decline and shape of the board allow you to deepen certain movements and try new ones.”

ProperPillow

Photo courtesy of ProperPillow.com

3. Proper Pillow
Many people don't realize that proper alignment of the spine is important for a good night's sleep. “I’m having neck issues, so I was happy to find Proper Pillow, which was designed by a chiropractor,”  says LIVESTRONG.COM Content Editor Sharon Brock. ”It has a hole in the middle, so it allows my neck to be supported in its natural curve while I sleep on my back.”

This position not only feels good, reports Sharon, but it also brings the rest of her spine into alignment. The pillow is also comfortable for side-sleepers since it's made with low-density foam. Just as we know that good posture during the day is important, the Proper Pillow is designed for us to have good posture during our sleeping hours, too.

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We went back for Two Moms seconds at IDEA Fit

4. Two Moms in the Raw
Raw snacks might not sound that appetizing, but we went back to the Two Moms in the Raw booth several times to try each of their raw breakfast cereal and nut-butter truffles with a kick of cayenne with raw cacao. It's actually pretty hard to find a delicious, healthy breakfast cereal (let alone grain- and sugar-free), but they’ve somehow perfected a raw version. We have a feeling it would be just as good by the handful as it would be with milk and berries.

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Jess using the RAD Rod at the LIVESTRONG.COM offices

5. RAD Rod
We've tried (and loved) all kinds of foam rollers over the years at LIVESTRONG.COM, from the RumbleRoller to the GoRoll Foam Roller Bag (featured in our Best Gear for All Your Outdoor Adventures slideshow). We even roll out our sore muscles on foam rollers at the office. Sometimes — particularly if you're wearing nice clothes or in an office environment — it's not convenient to get on the floor and roll out your aches.

We were thrilled to find the RAD Rod, which is a hard, rolling metal rod you can grip in your hands and roll out your sore forearms, shoulders, upper back, quads and calves while sitting at your desk. LIVESTRONG.COM Editor-in-Chief Jess Barron is a huge fan. "My forearms get tight and sore after a day of typing on my computer," she says. "It's great to be able to soothe my sore traps, upper back while sitting at my desk during the day."

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Photo courtesy of Tessemaes.com

6. Tessamae’s Salad Dressing
“As a dietitian, I see so many people try to eat healthy and lose weight by going with a salad but they make the mistake of covering their greens with creamy dressings full of artificial flavors, along with the cheese and croutons,” says Kelly Plowe, LIVESTRONG.COM’s  Senior Supervising Producer.

“I was excited to see my favorite dressing company, Tessemae’s, at IDEA Fit because they keep it real when it comes to dressings.” Simple, whole foods like olive oil, spices, citrus juices and herbs make up all of their dressings, so you can keep your salad healthy and tasty — no croutons or cheese required.

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Photo courtesy of HealthySkoop.com

7. Skoop
As a plant-based company, Skoop caught our attention. “They have a range of products from a protein powder to a daily greens blend, but I found the Ignite Superfood Endurance Beet Blend particularly interesting,” says Kelly. According to our resident dietician, beets have been shown to help improve performance for endurance athletes, but Skoop makes it easy and delicious to enjoy beets, pre-workout. “The Sweet Beet flavor had a definite beet taste (beets are the first ingredient listed), but it wasn’t overwhelming and it wasn’t too sweet, either,” Kelly reports.

sharon_MUSE

Sharon testing out the MUSE Headband at IDEA Fit

8.  MUSE Brain-Sensing Headband
Although research shows that meditation helps to calm our minds and improve our focus, many don't make time for it because they think they aren't "good" at it or it simply seems “too boring.” LIVESTRONG.COM Content Editor Sharon Brock tried the MUSE brain-sensing headband and she believes this device could help them.

We tried and reviewed the MUSE headband in depth when it first came out in 2014. Similar to a heart rate monitor, the $299 device records your mind’s activity while you're meditating, so you can track and improve your score from one session to the next. “I had fun trying out this device, which showed that I was calm 29 percent of the time during my three-minute meditation,” says Sharon. “This tracking and reward system may be just the thing to motivate me to stick to a daily meditation routine.”

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Tasting TEAONIC at IDEA Fit

9. TEAONIC
Here at LIVESTRONG.COM, we often discuss the healing powers of tea and infusions, but with so many herbs and botanicals available, mixing your own can be confusing. Sure, there are Yogi Teas, but what about the option to have a healthy tea on the go?

A new company started by a mother-daughter herbalist team, TEAONIC sells small glass bottles of organic, non-GMO, ready-made therapeutic concoctions that address conditions like adrenal fatigue, gut health, acne and joint stiffness. What’s more, the unsweetened herbal teas actually taste good.

– Valaer

Valaer Murray is the Managing Editor for LIVESTRONG.COM and previously worked at AOL, Forbes and Whalerock Industries. She has launched media properties including TheDailyMeal.com and Tasted.com and has written for numerous outlets, including recent assignments for Jetsetter, Simon & Schuster’s TipsonLivingHealthy.com, LivingHealthy.com and BlackboardEats. 

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