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.
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. 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. 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.