Hey, hope you are all having a wonderful Tuesday! So you know I went to the GFAF Expo in Secaucus, New Jersey on Saturday. It was the first time I have ever been and I have to say it was fun and a great way to get to know the brands I have known and used online and in stores for so long, but actually got to speak with representatives in person. You really got a great sense of which companies took immense pride in their products and serving the allergy community the best they can. I brought my point-and-shoot camera along, but ended up not taking many pictures. (Bad blogger). I was to busy chatting with the companies, picking up samples, and copious amounts of coupons and information
The venue was actually a lot smaller than I had thought, it was a small expo but there were still a good amount of brands there. I knew most of them but did find one or two new ones. Here is a list of the venders that were there. (That list says Nature's Path would be there...but they were not! I am so sad, I love Nature's Path and would have loved to meet them!) But one of the new companies I found was Ola! Granola. I was floored when I saw the nutrition info for their gluten-free and vegan granola. Normally granolas are loaded with sugar, salt, and calories for a measly ¼ cup, but theirs is not. Take a look! That is a ⅓ cup serving for 100 calories, 10mg of sodium, and only 4g of sugar!
Before I found Ola's booth I had went and talked to the GF Harvest guys. I told them that I loved their rolled oats but I thought I couldn't handle them anymore. They are a family-owned business and the son of the company who was diagnosed with celiac at age 2, talked to me about how has to watch how much pats he eats in a week. He said you have to take it real slow when you haven't eaten them in years and you have to only eat small quantities. So he instilled some confidence back in me and I am going to try eating oats one day a week and see how it goes! So when I came to Ola's booth and saw that granola, I had to buy some! I bought a bag of Chocolate Banana Chip...o so good! I tried it with my blueberry chocolate green smoothie on Sunday and-it-was-to-die-for!
My mom had fun sampling foods from all the brands and found some new things she loved. Like AllerEnergy's soft pretzels, Everybody Eats breads, and Bard's GF beer. She loved both and I know she struggles to find breads and products she loves to replace her old gluten-filled favorites. I didn't sample any foods there but I did get loaded with samples to take home. And I got product request forms for a few products that I have always wanted to try but my grocery sucks with their product selection. So when we went grocery shopping later that day I brought a request form for Freedom Foods cereals and Wink Frozen Desserts. We ended up having a long conversation with the head of the health foods department and found out she was actually at the expo that day as well. She said she got info form every company that was there and that they are hoping to expand their allergy-free/ health food selection immensely by 2014...we'll see.
So here is my haul of product goodies...minus the coupons and packets of info, tips, and company things.
We have my Ola! Granola, Pamela's Artisan Flour Blend, Hail Merry Macaroons, Mediterranean Snacks Lentil Crackers and Hummuz Crisps, Enjoy Life's Seed and Fruit mix, San-J Tamari, Pamela's Whenever Bar, Bakery on Main's Maple Muffin Oatmeal, NatVia Stevia, Nogii bars, Raw Revolution bars, Enjoy Life cookies, Now honey energy bar, Canyon Oats honey oatmeal, Udi's Ancient Grains Crackers, and Heavenly Organic's Honey Chocolate Mint Pattie.
Then we have a flexible cutting board, rubber brush, and personal utensil pack all from San-J, Mediterranean Snack's clip, some pens and buttons, Glutenfree Labels labels and stickers (Kelly, the founder of the company, is so wonderful! She talked with my mom and I for awhile and told us all about her company and how she started. So inspiring and a wonderful idea!), Bonne Maman Strawberry Jam, and Vidafree Strawberry Pie.
Vitamix had a booth there as well and I got to see the $600 machine in action up close and personal. I would have loved to take home a free sample of that haha! My dream appliance...maybe for Christmas? And of course I stopped by the Plant Fusion table (my beloved protein powder). I got to speak with Chris (the head of the company) whom I have been in contact with over the last few weeks. We have been working together and discussing my new potential job as a social media assistant and blog ambassador, along with some community outreach and demos. I am really excited to begin working with them and when everything is set in stone I will give you more details!
That pretty much sums it up. not much of a recap but there isn't much to tell. Once I try some of these products I will let you know more about them! But if you are completely new to being gluten-free and have multiple allergies I would definitely suggest checking out some of these brands and even going to the expo if it comes to your neighborhood!
So tell me:
What is you favorite Gluten-Free brand and why?
If you could make any food allergy friendly what would it be or what product would you change if you could? I wish Udi's breads didn't have that miniscule amount of egg whites...