Like I've stated in other social media posts and on the blog, The Lil Chef and I had a WONDERFUL time! I took so many pictures and talked to so many people I decided to put my entire experience on my blog instead of posting "500 pictures" to Instagram. (I will try to remember everyone I spoke to.) Now, I understand why other Bloggers post during the event! 😊
We made it! We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Arlington Hts., IL. It was a pretty decent room, I get Choice Rewards for staying there and it was less than 10 mins from the GFAF Expo. It was a win. I had to borrow a little money to stay there but it was what it was. I'd stay again.
Day 1: BFreeFoods was our Sponsor for the Expo. I want to thank them so much! Breakfast was great and I loved our blogger gift bags! I'm really sad I can not find their products in my part of the country but they can be ordered online.
I saw Wheat's End Artisan Foods the 1st day of the Expo but it was so crowded I couldn't get to it. Finally, I made the 2nd day and it was worth it! The English Muffins, Bagels and "Special Blogger Sourdough Bread" was Great! I seriously liked the texture of all of the products I tried. One of these days I will visit their Gluten Free Cafe in Chicago!
This company caught me off guard. I accidentally found them, I was trying to get to another booth and got caught in "traffic". I saw the samples, almost didn't know what it was, tried it anyway and wow that was good! They were donuts but they were plain, no glaze, no sugar, no extras. That's how you know something is good is when there are no extras and it doesn't need it.
I didn't visit Flax4Life until the 2nd day of the Expo because I was skeptical. I didn't doubt the taste, I was worried how my body would react. I've flax in the past and I've always had a reaction. I took a leap of faith and I was pleasantly surprised! I would definitely buy these now that I've tried them and I didn't have a reaction.
Now, whoa! Let's pause on this company! I'm not a "Sweets" person but I actually broke down and spent some money I didn't have and bought 2 boxes! These are AMAZING!!! I bought the Coconut Macaroons and The Almond Horns, these remind me of my childhood. I feel like that's saying something because "Gluten Free" wasn't necessarily an issue 30 years ago. I personally do not feel that the cookies have a "Gluten Free" taste, feel or after taste to them. These are on the top 10 list of recommendations! You still have time to receive a $1.00 off online! Visit www.aleias.com
If Quinoa is your thing, this actually isn't bad. Quinoa is another one of those healthy/gluten free/super foods that I tend to have some type of reaction to. It makes me a little woozy on its own, I can mix it with Brown Rice and be ok. I tasted this and no reactions. It's like instant oatmeal, savory instant oatmeal. I would buy it for a quick side dish.
Yes, I've heard all the talk about these bracelets being scams but to each its own. My daughter and I both did the balance demonstration, which had shocking results. Once my Fibromyalgia really set in years ago, I've been off balance ever since. I tested myself in the hotel the next day and it worked again, maybe not exactly how it did at the expo but enough for me to be convinced. I've had the bracelet on for 6 days and my Chronic Fatigue has not been as bad at all. TMI but the pain from my cramps were reduced and that's usually a real problem (I didn't actually know it was supposed to help with that until after I noticed I wasn't in pain. I went back and looked it up and saw that that was one of the issues it was supposed to help with)
This was more money I didn't have but I thought it was worth a try. So far so good. I don't see it curing any of my ailments but any relief is better than none!
I would've liked to try all of the products from the Expo but some products contained dairy and I can not consume dairy products. The Wowbutter is straight soy and I didn't feel comfortable with that. My daughter will eat the pancakes, I'll have a little piece and hope for the best. All of the products that we can not eat we are donating to the Food Pantry.
The line for the Success Rice was ridiculous! Success Rice is nothing for us but I never really paid attention to the fact that they are dedicated Allergy Free. That's awesome! Of course, we will continue to buy and support this company. The Lil Chef won a box rice from spinning what I call the Success Rice "Wheel of Fortune", that was nice.
Enjoy Life was another sponsor of the Expo. They had The Cutest setup. The line was crazy long for this as well. We loved it! Enjoy Life is a tried and true favorite of ours. If you are not familiar with this company, I really suggest you check them out.
Fresh Thyme just opened up here in the Northeast Ohio area. I was happy to see them there. I have only been once (and was able to find several hard to find allergy free products) but I definitely plan to go back (I have the app on my phone!) Fresh Thyme has a ton of the products at the Expo which is a really good thing! I was not aware until the Expo that they have their own line of GF products! Score for Fresh Thyme! I was also impressed that they had a dietician on hand to answer any Allergy Free questions.
I'm going to have to be honest with this company. I've been familiar with GoVeggie for years! I tried them when I was first transitioning to AF and it was not so good. I revisited them a few years later and we were hooked on the lactose-free American Cheese slices until I started having issues. (I found out I can not have dairy of any sort), we tried the vegan version again and NO! We switched to another company, which we currently use. I was hesitant about trying them again. My daughter convinced me to go over to their table and try the new vegan flavor. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. If I can find this in the store I will purchase it. I am willing to give GoVeggie another chance. We'll see what happens.
I'm a little weird when it comes to trying certain things. I wasn't knocking people down for this one at first. Look at her smile and personality, she got me! I agreed to try it but saw there was dairy involved and started to leave. The staff quickly assured me they had a dairy free version. I didn't know what to expect, I'm not a huge pepper person. I tried the Cranberry Pepper Jam (I'm not sure I'm saying that right) but surprisingly I didn't dislike it. What caught me off guard more than that was that I would actually eat it again if someone had it at a party/get together.
It was nice to meet and speak with Autumn. Juice Plus+ had a variety of whole food supplements but I was more interested in the vertical Gardening System that they have (unfortunately I do not have a picture of it, The Lil Chef is standing in front of it lol)
I'm familiar with Kay's sweeter protein products but I was not aware of these! I didn't really get into their other products because they have soy protein which (technically, I'm allergic to soy. I try not to consume just straight soy if I can help it) Now when I tasted these wonderful savory chickpea protein snacks, I literally wanted to eat them all!!! these are super good and right up my alley. I am looking for sources of protein and I think I found it!
There aren't enough words for Daiya, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the majority of their products! If you're Allergy Free I'm not sure how you couldn't' know about Daiya!!! I can not wait until the cheeze and alfredo sauce hits the shelf. The universe was listening when I made that suggestion to my family! Daiya is Awesome what else can I say?!
Another product that was new to me and is now on my top 10 list of Favs! I am a French Fry Freak, like seriously! As soon as I find this in the store I'm going to buy as many of these as I can afford!!!!! These are magnificent! YES TO VEGGIE FRIES 🙌
Let me reiterate, I'm not a sweets person but these are on my top 10 list as well! These are the equivalent to creamsicles. These are fruity on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside. Going on a hunt for these the next time we go grocery shopping!!!
I am ALL about the NATURAL and this Rep was SO Cool!!! Whenever I can afford any of this, I will order it! Definitely, check them out!!!
I love this mom's now entrepreneur's idea. This is a really cool idea, this is for the kids who can't eat anything at their "normal" friend's house. You bring the Buddy Cakes kit with you mix it up, put it in the microwave and tada your own little cakes/cupcakes and you can still feel like you're part of the group! The best part is, it's like completely allergy free!
I think it's really cool they have an entire food line for people would need the FODMAP diet!
It was really cool to see them in person, especially because they had just started following me on IG! Pretty awesome products too.
Hey! We actually saw the Two Fat Guys!!!
I've been aware of this company for awhile now just never really tried them. I am glad they were here. I would definitely buy the waffles! These were really good!
The Renaissance Convention Center was SO Beautiful!!!
A little artwork from our hotel room at the Comfort Inn in Arlington Hts.
This almost didn't make on the blog, this was the very first thing The Lil Chef and I ate from the Expo. I'm not a huge fan of Kettle Chips but these were really good! (especially because the little one liked them!) Kettle Chips are usually too crunchy for me (and I love "crunchy" stuff) with not enough salt or taste or way over seasoned. These chips are even keel, nice texture and taste.
I am excited to try their new product! (it's like french toast) I used to see these in Wholefoods (I never bought them though) I'm actually upset I didn't get a chance to taste any of their products, the original or new. They weren't set up the first day when I went past (but I did get an awesome Blogger Box) and the second day it was so busy I couldn't get over to them.
Excuse my tired creepy face but this is one of the awesome gifts in my Blogger Box from Qrunch. I wore this on my way home back to Ohio!
Our ENTIRE GFAF Expo Haul! Pretty Nice!!!!
Some of our old favorites!!!
I was SO proud to meet these ladies!!! I've been thinking about this idea since the little one and I started going to our local food pantry. Not many people donate allergy food, maybe because it's expensive or they simply aren't thinking about the fact that there are people in need with food allergies/intolerances. If you are in IL Please try to donate to them and help people with "food issues" out. Also to anyone else reading this, the next time you donate food, PLEASE try to donate some type of allergy free food!
OHIO PLEASE look into opening something similar!
This was the cutest lady there! I loved her personality and product especially because it's right in line with what I need. No sugar, Gluten free, & low carb! Her Apple Cinnamon bread was the softest, not too sweet yummy goodness ever! Check her out!
These two were so funny!!! I had a really good time at this table. I've tasted kale chips before and I wasn't overly impressed. These kale chips are SO good! My favorite is definitely is the ranch and nacho flavor. If you don't care for kale chips try again with this company!
A HUGE Yes to allergy free baby food!!!
King Arthur is another one of our tried and true FAVORITES!!! The banana bread samples that they had available were spectacular! All the boxes will be blue from now on and they have several new gluten free products coming out! That's exciting!
Again, all about that natural! This company is cool because not only is it all allergy free, they are supplements that melt in your mouth. This product is good for people or kids like the little one who can't swallow pills. Melts or easily soluble pills get into your system faster and there aren't any unnecessary ingredients for your body to digest.
So cool! She made a Tortilla soup that was amazeballs!!! This is my dream present! The presentation took no time and the soup was done! I didn't expect to like it and I really did! Way to go with the new improvements Vitamix! Feel free to donate one, I'll test it 600 ways from Sunday!
Sorry for the blurry picture! RP Pasta is hands down on my top 10 list of Favorite companies! I won a contest on IG from them last month or so and tried the Fresh Gluten Free Spinach Fettucine Pasta and OMG!!!!! YES, YES, YES!!! Amazing! So Good! I tasted some other kinds of pasta at the Expo and they were good as well, I'm sold!
It was very nice to meet her! Her book is really helpful for those transitioning or looking for easy to make GF recipes!
Oh God, this was the cutest! I love these shirts! I'm all down for GF gear! #CeliacCutie
Again, top 10, actually I think I'm up to a top 20 list lol. This was my first time trying Kraut as an adult and it did not disappoint! The Dill Pickle Flavor was super good!!! I'd definitely use, eat and buy this!!!! The chips are even better. This is like healthy gut heaven, seriously!!!
Bob's Red Mill is one of the BEST GF companies in my book!!! I don't have enough words for them. If you are allergy free, this should be a staple in your house!
I haven't tried much from this company but their animal crackers weren't bad, very interesting. I would give them to my toddler/child. My teenager didn't mind them so that's a good thing!
So glad someone is out here speaking out about men also being affected by this disease/condition. More females "seem" to have Celiacs, Gluten Intolerance, Gluten Sensitivities, allergies, etc. I think there are more men out here suffering than we think and they are either not speaking up or not being properly diagnosed.
I was overjoyed to see an African American Gluten Free Company. It is another stereotype type that African Americans do not suffer from these type of conditions. I believe like, with men, it's not properly diagnosed or openly talked about. Her products were very good and also had dairy free options. It would be nice for people to show support.
I was beyond leery about this product because I've tried similar pills in the past and I still got sick. I did try the pills the other day (not quite like the instructions stated) and it did calm my stomach. I do plan to use the pills as directed and see what happens. So far so good though!
This was a pretty cool product! Cleaning without harmful products!
I had a friend that introduced me to this company a couple of years ago but at the time there were no GF/AF options. I am glad that Tastefully Simple has added some allergy-free options.
I love that is is an affordable way to test your food to see if it is cross contaminated! Again, when I get the money I will definitely look into this! I do like Nima (a digital version of this and is coming out with tests for other allergens) but it's a bit costly.
We had an awesome time dressing up and standing up for Food Safety!!!
For those of you who hung in there and scrolled through all of my pics, ramblings, grammatical errors and so forth, THANK YOU!!!!! I am more than sure I have missed a few people and companies. We had an amazing time, I'm glad my first time was successful. I'm sure I can and need to improve my Blogger skills but this was a good start and training for me. We will attend again!!!!
THE WHOLE BLOGGER GANG!