Two weekends ago we were able to attend the nations largest Gluten Free Expo for the fourth time.There are many healthy food items exhibited at the expo along with foods that are processed. But if you’re looking for replacements for comfort food you can no longer have, this is a great place to start. This is one of the biggest events of the year for us. We get to spend however many hours (we usually spend a full 4-5) pampering our little gluten free hearts! It’s one of those things that gets us through each and every year.
Each year we usually discover quite a few new products that we die over. It’s exciting to get to share some of the things we found, with all of you! So here’s the inside scoop! It’s going to be a loooong list… feel special. 🙂 Also, this is not a sponsored post. This is 100% our opinion of what we tasted that day!
Big Daddy Hill’s BBQ Sauce
So most BBQ Sauce is gluten free in nature but this one is certified. Seriously, I’m devastated I didn’t go back and buy a bottle. I liked the Sweet & Tangy and Bold & Spicy.
John Bear Foods
These were the nicest people! A little bit of a newer company, they offer gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, rice free, yeast free, and egg free products. They offer mixes for things like crepes and sugar cookies!
Mom’s Place Gluten Free
Seriously worst picture ever but they had THE BEST LEMON BARS on this planet! MY MOM was dying and she’s not even gluten free! She’s an amazing cook and she said that they were what she always TRIES to get her lemon bars to feel and taste like (i don’t know what she’s talking about though.. I had her lemon bars, in my pre-gluten free life and they were off the hook). If you can’t tell, I haven’t had a lemon square in 3 years.. Haha!
They had some of the best and moist white bread I’ve had. They sell these awesome mixes so you can make it at home!
Ok so first bite, I felt that the raisin bread needed to be a tad bit sweeter. Raisin bread usually is sweeter than regular bread but the texture was to die for.. and after a couple more bites I loved the flavor! It’s actually nice not to have it as sweet. And their other bread (I can’t remember if it was white or multi or what.. but it had sunflower seeds in it!) was amazing too! The lady said they sell it at Target on the BREAD ISLE! Yeah, not the frozen section. YUM.
For all of my local peeps, Meltyway is a yummy little sandwich cafe and they offer gluten free bread for their sandwiches. I’m telling you, people are getting with the program! They had their truck just sittin’ in the corner. It was cute.
I could have sworn we tried these last time… they had their cheese bread out for sampling and man oh man am I a sucker for cheese bread. It was so yummy!
Feel Good Foods
If you are on the go and can’t muster up the time for dinner, these TV dinners were awesome! We had one that tasted like the pot stickers my mom used to buy at Costco. Seriously, great quality!
Vivian’s Live Again
I have tried this company’s sample for three or four years and every time I ask myself why I didn’t purchase anything!? I write them down and always forget! She’s the NICEST lady and they offer some of the best soups/sauce/gravy mixes! I asked her what I should use to replace Lipton Onion soup (which was gluten free for a long time and then they added the devil). She said to try a beef bouillon and dried onion flakes.. DUH. My mom and I looked at each other and thought, why the heck have we NOT thought of that!? Anyway, the lady is a gem!
Two of the highlights of being there was getting to meet two extremely iconic people:
We got to meet Carol Kicinski!!
She was so nice and warm and as beautiful in person as she is in her magazine! She is one of the most influential members of the Celiac community. She’s the founder & editor in chief of the magazine, Simply Gluten Free, TV chef, and cookbook author. She is amazing and if you haven’t subscribed to her magazine, you are missing out! It’s way cheaper to buy the subscription than picking one up at the store. We’ve been buying her magazines for a while now and just subscribed while at the expo.
We were also privileged to spend some time talking to Drew Manning, a health guru!
He’s a personal trainer who decided to literally step into his clients shoes by taking six months to gain weight, live on an un-restricted diet, and eliminate exercise all together- living the american lifestyle. Once the six months came and he exceeded his weight gain goal of 50 pounds, by 25 lbs, totaling a weight gain of 75 pounds, he started his six month journey to being healthy and fit. It’s a fascinating concept, from Fit2Fat2Fit. He spoke to us about how, by nature, he eats pretty much gluten free because he rarely eats GRAINS?? And so he has taken on the challenge to eat the unhealthy side of gluten free. There are so many gluten free options out there but are they really good for you, just because they are gluten free? Thats a concept I feel, MANY people don’t understand and I love that he’s willing to show people what it can really do to your body! Once he’s finished with that side, he’ll focus on the healthy side of gluten free. You can follow along with his progress on his website: Fit2Fat2Fit. Also, on top of all this, he was just a pleasure to talk to. SOOOO down to earth and personable. Very genuine. It was so refreshing. Just a really great guy.
And we walked away with autographs 🙂
If you pick up this months issue of Simply Gluten Free, on page 50, they have a list of gluten free/dairy free expo’s going on during the next couple months. If there is one around your area, I would definitely recommend getting your gluten free self over there. It’s an experience like no other and the perks span far beyond free samples. It’s inspiring to see just how many people attend. To be around SO many C/GI people in such a concentrated area just gives you perspective. There are so many of us out there and too many times we feel alone. It’s really great to see how many companies are on board, to hear from doctors and specialists that you can personally talk to and ask questions, to see chefs cook right in front of you, and to sample the products instead of gambling with your money or time. IT’S. JUST. AWESOME. And Debbie Deaver, if you ever stumble upon our small little blog, THANK YOU so much for working your tail off and turning a negative into a positive. Thank you for helping thousands of people each and every year. We look forward to attending next year!