What a great time at the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event in Raleigh on Saturday, August 9th!
I had such fun meeting other gluten-free people, swapping stories and sharing laughs. Hugs all around!
It was great to see everyone.
On entering to get set up, I was excited and anxiously anticipating how the day would unfold.
This was my first Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Expo, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
I got set up, tweaking my own station for gluten-free consulting and travel, and looked around to see what my tablemates were up to!
One of the first to introduce themselves was Cheryl Godwin, and funny that she was an Arbonne rep.
I recently met someone who also distributes their products.
I tried her shea butter hand lotion and it was soothing. Our hands can take a beating!
The next person I met was one of my cool table neighbors, Tarah Jakubiak of Allergic Traveler – who makes International Dietary Alert cards. I am looking forward to ordering these when I head to Greece, as I do not write in Greek! Haha! Also next door was Anna Sonnenberg of Gluten-Free Jet Set, who has a wealth of resources for gluten-free travel!
Next was Clara Starkey, who does DoTerra natural products and essential oils. One of my friends does DoTerra and we had a great time raving about the oils. I truly believe essential oils can have some potently positive effects on our mind and body.
I made it over to the pizza and beer row before the crowds started flowing in and had some yummy fun chatting with the fellas at Bella Monica who were toasting pizza samples.
The aroma was wafting irresistibly through the room from them and Z pizza.
Z pizza had take-home boxes for heat and eat as well.
One of the most bemoaned losses in the gluten-free world, aside from bread itself, is probably beer.
Nestled between the two pizza tables was Andy from US Beverage Manufacturing, who was on a mission to be
1) voted the most fun picture-taker and most likely to succeed
2) a serious stop on the gluten-free visitor’s circuit.
He had Estrella Damm Daura gluten-removed beer hailing from Espana (Spain), and New Planet Brewing naturally gluten-free beer out of Colorado. These were both great choices, representing some of the latest and most readily available products on the gluten-free beer circuit.
There were so many there! I didn’t get a final count, but it got LOUD people!
It was funny how many of us started going hoarse about the same time and needed some hot delicious food!
Quite a few of us bloggers and more knowledgeable locals went on a trip downstairs to nab some Bang Bang Bahn Mi
steaming hot off the truck. The pho ga was piping hot and warming in spite of the cool rain out. The crispy fried chicken with rice and mustard greens rocked.
Those greens reminded me of my granny’s.
That’s high praise folks!
I did finally get to the other side of the room after break. I’m so glad! I got to meet Carol Kicinski from Simply… Gluten Free magazine.
Carol is an author, originator, recipe developer, and editor among her many accomplishments. She was kind enough to decipher my excited babbling and disregard anything that didn’t make sense without quibbling. Oh, and she took pictures too!
Not long after this, I happened to glanced down at the presenter schedule and sure enough, her presentation was up next.
Great timing! It was a very practical theme, “Ridding Your Life, not Just Your Body, of Toxins”.
I headed into the speaking room and got settled. She spoke on her personal experience and the need to be aware of our bodies, but also our environment, our stressors, and those around us…
This was such pivotal information. So often as medically gluten-free individuals, we can have other problems that do not earn our attention because one can view themselves as one large, temperamental GI tract with a face, a family, and a favorite hobby. (My words, not hers!)
But really, we are whole people with whole lives, and there are so many things we can go through, be around, and be influenced by in addition to what we eat. Toxic environments, situations, and relationships can all rob one of their full health and well-being. This was a lively 30 minutes that kept the crowd chuckling and that everyone could relate to. She gave us a lot to think about.
Also presenting was Jen Johnson of Every Day Mindful.
Jen’s message was to live intentionally.
Instead of just letting life ‘happen to us’, we can take control of our lives and circumstances, and choose how our life unfolds.
Great point there!
Also good reading was The Original Gluten-Free Buyers Guide from Josh and Jayme pictured here.
They created the annual Gluten-Free Awards, and had a special promotion for email sign-up to win a chance at a free 2015 issue of the guide.
It was great meeting them!
Lastly, I got to two tables on the other side of the room. Rachel Lyons from Primal, the Triangle’s only fully gluten-free restaurant in Durham, NC was on hand to share more about the establishment.
…And just before I completely forgot, I picked up my order from my friends Noreen and Eamon Fitzmaurice at the Celiac Cakery!
Oh heaven, you know it was chocolate. They had some samples that were to die for! Sweet treats from sweet people!
There were so many folks there, and it was truly inspiring and uplifting to connect with so many like-minded individuals. I am already looking forward to next year!
We bloggers got a special treat with our blogger team goodie bags!
I appreciated this, because when chronicling the best of the event, one can miss a few tables.
Here are a few of our treats pictured… Durable cloth bag for all of my future gluten-free shopping… (wink)
Big thanks for the invitation to Pam Jordan of I am a Celiac blog and Nikki Everett, organizer of the Gluten and Allergy Free Wellness Events, for their untiring hard work coordinating all of this fun yumminess! Hope you all had as much fun as I did!
What was your favorite part of the Gluten and Allergy Free Wellness event?
Happy Gluten-Free Gathering!