I was sponsored for conference attendance, opinions are my own.
This weekend, I attended the Gluten and Allergy Free Expo in Secaucus, NJ. I had no idea what to expect, thinking I’d come away with a few coupons, samples and contacts, and a nice two day break from kids.
I was excited to be totally blown away! If you are eating a restricted diet (or giving one to your children) for any reason, you should definitely attend the nearest Gluten and Allergy Free Expo that you can. Here are 10 reasons why:
- The people are fabulous. There’s NOTHING more inspiring than someone who started a business for their own or their child’s health, and the passion they exude, like the mom who quit a good job in pharma because she just couldn’t support them anymore, who is now a fledgling businesswoman.
- The attendees are fabulous too. People openly expressed gratitude and gave feedback on the stuff they tried or knew and loved. One woman told me that the DoTERRA product she tried got rid of her pain so instantly, that she had to bring back her mom to get a sample for her hip pain.
- Their stories are amazing. Go to the smaller vendors and ask why they started. You’ll be blown away…but beware, you may need a box of tissues!
- The food is awesome. Really! There was a single thing I tried that I didn’t love, with the exception of the hoppier beers (just not a hops fan). And OH the cakes, cookies and ice pops – absolutely awesome.
- Yes, there is beer! Oh happy day. I do love a good, refreshing beer, and there were actually 6 vendors, so you have a lovely selection.
- The classes are invaluable. I only had time for three of them, but I learned a lot that I didn’t know in 2.5 years of doing this, like detailed tips on how to ask questions about allergens when you eat out and a list of corn-free products.
- There were way more non-GMO products than I expected. Because so many of the smaller vendors do this for health reasons, creating truly clean food is a priority for them.
- Coupons! High value ones, too, for awesome brands like Enjoy Life and Rudi’s. Need I say more?
- Staying up to date on vendors. Did you know that So Delicious is working to remove carrageenan from its products and intends to do so by the end of this year? Well, now you do! Asking reps these kinds of questions will help you make the right choices for your family, PLUS they want to hear your opinion on what you want as a consumer.
- This is a great place to help others. As I went around and spoke to vendors, I found several people that I not only clicked with, but who’s passion – and other activities – aligned with mine and I wanted to help them. I’m hoping this journey was the beginning of many beautiful relationships.
I recommend you go to the one nearest you, because some of these vendors were not available outside the PA/Northeast area (in stores) and a few are not available online. One of the best things about this expo was the atmosphere: it was positive, upbeat and filled with hope. If you are desperate for strategies on how to feed your child without losing your mind and looking for solutions, products and community in the world of restricted eating, the Gluten and Allergy Free Expo is for you!