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Women's Expo: more highlights

Welcome back to my blog about the Daily Globe's Women's Expo. Today I'm aiming to provide a quick glance into what the Expo has to offer. But I can't cover everything, so stop down and see for youself!

My head is actually spinning with all the things I'd like to write about. I'll start with a few of the many interesting vendors I've come across this morning.

Avera Worthington Specialty Clinic is offering free non-fasting blood sugar and cholesterol tests. And they have cool little green pill containers for free. As a journalist, I normally don't take the stuff people try to give me for free (ethics and all that). But here I have carte blanche. So far I've also gathered hand sanitizer, a water bottle and various candies (now would be a bad time to test my blood sugar).

I also took advantage of the free blood pressure checks that Sanford Worthington Regional Hospital is offering. 102/64, in case you were wondering, which I think means I'm legally dead. The man wielding the blood pressure cuff said he usually only sees it that low in runners. I didn't have the heart to tell him I'm more of a dorky aerobics tape walker than a runner. Sanford is also offering free tests for oxygen saturation level (the percent of oxygen in your blood)and cholesterol.

I also met Barb Bakalyar of Lakefield, who recently started a Web site dedicated to giving thanks. The site,, allows you to enter what you are grateful for and it later shows up on the site. Bakalyar also sells grateful prayer chains, bracelets with alphabet beads that help you remember 26 things to be thankful for everyday. On her list was "A" for all she's accomplished and "B" for her boys.

I found out about another cool and previously unknown program at the Hy-Vee booth. Hy-Vee has started to label some of the foods they sell with NuVal labels. NuVal is a nutitional scoring system that rates foods from 1 to 100 (100 being the healthiest). Instead of having to count calories or fiber or cholesterol, you just buy the product with the highest NuVal score. "It's really a great tool for consumers to make good choices," Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Hy-Vee dietician Janine Albers told me. Pretty cool, huh?

There's a slew of other vendors as well, and while I can't name all of them, here are a few: Arbonne (cosmetics), Farley's and Sathers, Tupperware, Pampered Chef and more. There are also gyms, funeral homes, hospice centers and chiropractors. I even saw a woman selling quilts.

I'll have more on my adventures and freebie finds at 12:30 p.m.!