Chicago’s Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Sure, we expected it to be magnificent but we weren’t prepared to be blown away….pardon the pun but after all Chicago is the “Windy City.”   My 17 year old daughter and I flew to Chicago from Tucson to attend both the blogger’s conference and the Expo.  I must say that the organizers certainly knew how to put things together like pro’s!

First we attended the Nourished Food Blogger’s conference.  This first time event was sold out.  I have never in my life seen so many people who share the same love for writing about their “challenges with food” in one place!

We had no idea what to expect.  We nervously walked into our first presentation, found a seat and were greeted by people I had only met through FaceBook and Twitter.  Our niche!  People just like us that are rising to the challenges of having to eat differently than others and are finding joy in doing so.

As for the Expo itself, we have attended many and planned several and they have been very well attended by both vendors and patrons alike.  This year, our support group decided to take a hiatus so we thought we’d go enjoy the fruits of some else’s labor.  DID WE EVER!

Where to start?  No huge line!  No waiting!  People were pleased to be there, happy to talk and share information.  The vendors were also genuine in their belief that they are providing a necessary service to those with food allergies and sensitivities.

There is simply no way that I can tell you about all of the different vendors and their products, so I will highlight only a few of our favorites.  My daughter is 17 and not GF or DF.  She eats like 80% of the other people I know which says – these products are appealing even to those who don’t NEED them.

Chicago Expo information: http://gfafexpo.com/chicago/

More information about the Nourish Food Bloggers Conference and Presenters: http://nourishedfbc.com/

Our Fantastic Four picks:

 

1.  This kid’s book by Stasie John – is the best I have ever read.  Wonderful and colorful illustrations which accompany a positive explantion to children about living gluten free happily.  For more information, see www.ieatdifferent.com.   I will also be writing a separate blog post on this tremendous story!

2.  Hail Merry’s booth distributed samples of their GF-VEGAN-RAW products which include flavored pecans and a variety of flavorful tarts.  My favorite is the Meyer Lemon tart.  You won’t be disappointed! For more information about their scrumptious and healthful snacks see their website at http://www.hailmerry.com/  or see my review at:  http://glutenfreeinarizona.com/2011/10/25/queen-of-tarts/  

3.  Enjoy Life – We were really taken aback by just how many different options they offer.  All of them were quite tasty and will help me to pack my gluten free/dairy free child’s lunch.  I loved the texture of the cookies as they weren’t crumbly and travelled home well!  Everyone loves a good cookie, especially when you’re GF!

http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/our_lifestyle/gluten_free.php

 

4.  Imagine our delight and  surprise to come across a lipstick company that offers more than just your garden variety gluten free lipstick.  This company also removed the parabens!!!  YEAH!  To learn more about them visit them their website at www.redapplelipstick.com  and sign up for their newsletter.

They are even offering an introduction to their line by trading up your lipstick!  HOPEFULLY I’ll be doing a blog review about this company in the near future.  Can’t wait to hear more about their eye shadow!

I believe we spent the most time at this table!!!!!

(thank you for the photo gfreegal@blogspot.com):

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2 Responses to “Chicago’s Gluten and Allergen Free Expo”

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing your experience! I’ve never been to a gluten-free expo. How was the Nourished FBC? I really wanted to go to that. 🙂

    • GFKimAZ says:

      The FBC was terrific. You should go to the next one. I think it will be in Dallas in 2013 but you can follow the Expo site and get details of all of there events.

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