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My Experience At The Expo
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After I was diagnosed I considered what I went through for a while to be coping. At this point, I think I can say that day to day I simply live with celiac. Today though was all about therapy. Eight hours of gluten free therapy.

 

Anyone who knows me knows I was going to the Gluten Free Expo today because I haven't been able to shut up about it. It is the largest gluten free expo in the country, and I count myself very lucky that I don't have to travel to go. (Unless you count driving for 30 minutes mostly on the freeway traveling, and I don't.) There was something like 150 vendors there, the place was massive. Since they were doing a $1000 cash prize to one of the first 1000 people in the door, I got an early start and got there an hour before they opened the doors. I stood around in line, alone and bored mostly, and hungry. (Never eat before a food expo.)

 

Finally they let us in at 9. Instead of a pancake breakfast they had a change of plans and were doing a cereal breakfast. I was disappointed but decided that since it wasn't a hot breakfast I wouldn't spoil my day with pointless food I probably have at home in my pantry. I headed straight to an end aisle and started working my way up one side, down another. I did break some of my rules today, like screw my low histamine thing. I knew I'd be in unimaginable pain before the end of a long day no matter what I did so meh... So I had things like a banana popsicle for breakfast. And an entire small plate of cookie, brownie and cupcake samples from my favorite bakery. Which is when I noticed that they were actually selling red velvet cupcakes. Stop. The. Train. By 9:40 I was in a quiet corner in a chair enjoying a cupcake. It was heaven. :wub:

 

All day at the two separate stages there were various speakers and prize giveaways. I wanted to hear some of the speakers and hit all the prize giveaways so I had to take frequent breaks from my sampling. Which is good because by 10 I was sick from eating too much. :ph34r: It wasn't until a bit past 2 that I had been able to get up and down every aisle, sample everything I wanted to and see every vendor I wanted to.

 

I ate every imaginable sweet. Crackers and chips and meats and sauces quesadillas and grilled cheese and breads and cheeses and drinks... I can't even remember half of the things I found. At the concession stand they had Redbridge on tap. I didn't have any, but it was cool that they had it. :D I think one of the ones I was most excited about honestly was the Pillsbury cookie, I just wanted to know what it tasted like. (At $5 a tub it's more likely it'll snow in hell than someone will catch me buying it.) It's good.

 

Finally around 3:30 I scored an entire reusable shopping bag stuffed with food. I kept sticking around because they were giving away two grand prizes at 4:30, which I didn't manage to win. I still had a blast. They had a nutritionist with a really impressive degree (I can't remember the details but I remember being impressed at the time) who did a Q & A with the audience. Drs who did talks. For some reason the Fit2Fat2Fit guy... I didn't go listen to him because I still can't figure out what getting fat on purpose to understand fat people has to do with celiac. *shrug*

 

At the end of the day my favorite bakery was selling everything they had left for $1. I scored a bunch of cookies and cinnamon rolls. (They were out of cupcakes and I almost cried.) I was so burdened with stuff I was lucky I could walk at all. I am exhausted. I am in unimaginable pain. I still look as fantabulous as I did when I left the house this morning. And I would do it all again because tired and in pain it was a day like I never knew I could have.

 

If it weren't for a few extra intolerances that affect my vision and therefore my ability to drive home I could have eaten everything there with wild abandon without ever looking at a label. I got to talk to people who understand. I got to try so many new things, some awesome, some not so much. I can't say enough how much I think people should seek out similar events in their areas, even if it means a bit of traveling and go to them. It is enlightening and empowering in a way that is difficult to put into words.

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So glad you had a wonderful day!

 

Thanks for sharing :)

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Wow, someday I'll attend one!  It sounds fabulous!

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Wow, this makes me feel as if I was there too! So glad you had such a wonderful time. :) 

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Okay, it took a while to get it but this is all my stuff.

 

This is my samples. Obviously only the ones I brought home without eating. :lol: I don't think you can really see that it is all piled on two reusable shopping bags which I adore having.

c7285d98-bad9-490a-8365-3cad65ab5839_zps

 

And this is the prize bag I won, which all came in a reusable bag.

3f07b9d5-390c-4493-9f81-d842a60797f2_zps

 

Plus I haven't even thought about counting up the value of the coupons I'll actually use.

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That's awesome, Adalaide! And nice scores on the goodie bags.

 

My local GIG chapter does a gluten-free food fair but it's not until the spring. There is a gluten-free food fair happening next weekend in the neighboring city at a community college. Neither will be as big as the expo, but I might go check them out anyway! You've inspired me!

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I can't wait for the Dallas area expo on the 26th, I will have to post about that.  I am making my husband come to help me double up on samples, lol.

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What a wonderful day!! Wow!! Makes me want to go to one!! Like someone eles stated feels like I was!! I think I even just had a lilpain for you :) Emjoy your goodies!! :) 

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Well, I know how excited and bouncy-off-the walls you were before you even left the house  so I am delighted you had such a great time.

 

I just have one question:

 

How the #%$#K!  did you carry all that stuff?  

 

Been lifting weights and not telling me?

 

Holycraponacracker, girl.!...that's a bigger heist than my 6 year old great niece on Halloween.

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My local GIG people do a food fair thing too. It's fun and I enjoy it but it isn't a spend the day affair. They do it in May I believe.

 

The prize bag was all one bag, which was actually kinda heavy. Everything else fit neatly into two reusable shopping bags with all my literature and coupons and such and they didn't weigh much of anything. It was a slow process... I was still only carrying one bag noon. Oh, and carrying myself. I probably weigh 10 pounds more than I did when I woke up yesterday. :lol:

 

Apparently next year the Expo is expanding and doing 3 new locations so maybe lots of you will have a chance to go. It'll be in LA, Boise, and Raleigh. And I'm quite sure, even though the website doesn't exactly say so that it'll still be in SLC too.  http://glutenfreeexpo.com/the-expo/city-near-you/

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well, given my current state of "improved health post DX' (read that as: 40 lbs. weight gain) and my very tight pants, I should probably steer clear of people giving me more yummy things to eat. :lol: 

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Adalaide,

I can just see you over in that corner with the "cupcake"!!  Thanks for sharing.  You make a terrific reporter!!  Makes me want to go to one of these.  Linda Lee

After I was diagnosed I considered what I went through for a while to be coping. At this point, I think I can say that day to day I simply live with celiac. Today though was all about therapy. Eight hours of gluten free therapy.

 

Anyone who knows me knows I was going to the Gluten Free Expo today because I haven't been able to shut up about it. It is the largest gluten free expo in the country, and I count myself very lucky that I don't have to travel to go. (Unless you count driving for 30 minutes mostly on the freeway traveling, and I don't.) There was something like 150 vendors there, the place was massive. Since they were doing a $1000 cash prize to one of the first 1000 people in the door, I got an early start and got there an hour before they opened the doors. I stood around in line, alone and bored mostly, and hungry. (Never eat before a food expo.)

 

Finally they let us in at 9. Instead of a pancake breakfast they had a change of plans and were doing a cereal breakfast. I was disappointed but decided that since it wasn't a hot breakfast I wouldn't spoil my day with pointless food I probably have at home in my pantry. I headed straight to an end aisle and started working my way up one side, down another. I did break some of my rules today, like screw my low histamine thing. I knew I'd be in unimaginable pain before the end of a long day no matter what I did so meh... So I had things like a banana popsicle for breakfast. And an entire small plate of cookie, brownie and cupcake samples from my favorite bakery. Which is when I noticed that they were actually selling red velvet cupcakes. Stop. The. Train. By 9:40 I was in a quiet corner in a chair enjoying a cupcake. It was heaven. :wub:

 

All day at the two separate stages there were various speakers and prize giveaways. I wanted to hear some of the speakers and hit all the prize giveaways so I had to take frequent breaks from my sampling. Which is good because by 10 I was sick from eating too much. :ph34r: It wasn't until a bit past 2 that I had been able to get up and down every aisle, sample everything I wanted to and see every vendor I wanted to.

 

I ate every imaginable sweet. Crackers and chips and meats and sauces quesadillas and grilled cheese and breads and cheeses and drinks... I can't even remember half of the things I found. At the concession stand they had Redbridge on tap. I didn't have any, but it was cool that they had it. :D I think one of the ones I was most excited about honestly was the Pillsbury cookie, I just wanted to know what it tasted like. (At $5 a tub it's more likely it'll snow in hell than someone will catch me buying it.) It's good.

 

Finally around 3:30 I scored an entire reusable shopping bag stuffed with food. I kept sticking around because they were giving away two grand prizes at 4:30, which I didn't manage to win. I still had a blast. They had a nutritionist with a really impressive degree (I can't remember the details but I remember being impressed at the time) who did a Q & A with the audience. Drs who did talks. For some reason the Fit2Fat2Fit guy... I didn't go listen to him because I still can't figure out what getting fat on purpose to understand fat people has to do with celiac. *shrug*

 

At the end of the day my favorite bakery was selling everything they had left for $1. I scored a bunch of cookies and cinnamon rolls. (They were out of cupcakes and I almost cried.) I was so burdened with stuff I was lucky I could walk at all. I am exhausted. I am in unimaginable pain. I still look as fantabulous as I did when I left the house this morning. And I would do it all again because tired and in pain it was a day like I never knew I could have.

 

If it weren't for a few extra intolerances that affect my vision and therefore my ability to drive home I could have eaten everything there with wild abandon without ever looking at a label. I got to talk to people who understand. I got to try so many new things, some awesome, some not so much. I can't say enough how much I think people should seek out similar events in their areas, even if it means a bit of traveling and go to them. It is enlightening and empowering in a way that is difficult to put into words.

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Yea, Addy! :D

 

The one I went to in Rapid City a couple of years ago was great. All of the local restautrants that had gluten-free foods had full hot meals available, and all for the price of admission to the event. We all did it like a buffet, just went from booth to booth and filled our plates, over and over again. Of course I was limited because of my corn intolerance, but I still managed to glut myself. And the beer they had was Bard's so I could drink it. (Redbridge has corn syrup. :ph34r:  :angry: )

 

I only came home with ONE bag of samples because of the corn thing too, but it was OK. I had snacks to last a couple of weeks.

 

There were lots of speakers at this one too. The most helpful for me was the lady from the compounding pharmacy. But they even had one for parents of celiac kids where they made gluten-free playdough and other things and gave advice about how to handle school and such.

 

I hope they have another one here someday. I too took a non-gluten-free friend so I could double up on the samples, and will do so again.

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I so wanted my husband to go with me so I could double up on everything but he got stuck working. :( When I won my free ticket it was a pair of tickets so when I got to the expo I looked for the first person I could find who was buying tickets who had kids and gave her my spare.

 

I think if it weren't Utah they would get more beer people here. There did seem to be a steady stream of people buying though. :lol:

 

I got lots of samples that were even of things I know I can't have that my husband can. He just got bumped to full time and he'll get his insurance soon which means he's getting tested. I honestly expect his tests to come back positive so I figure it can't hurt for him to try a few things. Plus it's mostly bars, which he loves to take to work for snacks so if they're good it'll drum up business either way. Mostly though I got him hooked on Trio bars. :)

 

You know... it isn't a terribly long drive for you to make to visit Utah. And the scenery is beautiful in October. :P

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I so

You know... it isn't a terribly long drive for you to make to visit Utah. And the scenery is beautiful in October. :P

You know, if they have one during ski season, I'll be there!

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One of these days, Addy, I WILL make that trip. I haven't taken more than one day off in a row since I opened the shop seven and a half years ago. I am LONG overdue for a vacation!

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I'm going to my first expo in Dallas. I am SO excited! I can't wait to eat things without having to read labels! Meeting all the food bloggers & others with celiac too! Thanks for sharing your experience. Oh, how did you post those pics on here cause I can't seem to figure that out?

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One of these days, Addy, I WILL make that trip. I haven't taken more than one day off in a row since I opened the shop seven and a half years ago. I am LONG overdue for a vacation!

 

You are a crazy woman. But I suppose when you love what you do it makes all the difference.

 

 

You know, if they have one during ski season, I'll be there!

 

I don't think anyone plans anything during ski season in Utah. Because no one would go, they're all too busy skiing! Well... I would go. There is no chance I'd ever get caught out playing in the snow on purpose. I'm the exception here though, people think I'm the crazy one. :P

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They started a gluten-free expo thing here in Toronto, called the Gluten Free Garage. They've had a couple so far. I went last fall, and it was nice to see what's out there, even though I couldn't eat a good half of it due to soy/dairy, and ended up spending much more than I intended, but got some stuff I'd never seen before. I think they're doing it again in November. It's not super big, but it was busy!

My Mom and I almost went to the gluten-free marketplace at the Canadian Celiac Association conference this year, but were short on visiting time and was a bit of a hassle to get out there. Maybe next time.

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