Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Atlanta Gluten-Free Vendor Fair

A world of gluten-free food coming to Atlanta’s fourth annual vendor fair Sept. 25

Some of the hottest and newest gluten-free food, including products from 10 metro Atlanta vendors, will fill the ballroom at the Norcross Hilton Sept. 25 for the fourth annual Gluten-Free Vendor Fair and Fundraiser sponsored by the Atlanta Metro Celiacs support group.

Created and coordinated by Jennifer D. Harris, AMC program chair and a gluten-free product specialist, the Gluten Free Vendor Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Norcross, Ga.

Admission this year is $5 per person/$20 per family (4 maximum) and includes a complimentary tote bag from Ingles Supermarket. Sampling of gluten-free foods begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m., with guest speakers and programs rounding out the day.  Products will be available for sample and sale, so come prepared to take advantage of some great show prices.

“This is a new venue and a new format for us, but I think this year’s vendor fair will be the biggest and best we’ve had,” Harris said.  “I’m delighted by the lineup of well-known gluten-free and celiac experts speaking.  We even have a cooking expo this year.”

Those who attend this year’s vendor fair will find a day jam-packed with speakers, samples, and supplies for the gluten-free lifestyle. Many vendors also offer vegan, casein-free, and dairy-free products in addition to gluten-free wares.
Saturday’s activities begin at 9 a.m. with a presentation by Cynthia Kupper, R.D., executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG). Atlanta Metro Celiacs is a branch organization of GIG.

•At 10 a.m. Susan Cohan, director of the nationally acclaimed Generation Gluten Free video, will make a special presentation (

•From 11 –12 noon, gluten-free food ambassador and motivational speaker Dee Valdez from Loveland, Co., will speak about living with celiac disease and enjoying a gluten-free lifestyle.

•From 1-2 p.m. Joel Schaefer, former chef at Disney World and executive chef at Allergy Free Foods, will offer a cooking demonstration.  Schafer is known for converting many dining facilities at Disney World to gluten-free operations.

•At 2 p.m. Jules Shepard of Jules Gluten Free will offer a paid cooking demonstration. Jules' class attendees will learn how to make and get to taste Southern Buttermilk Biscuits (made dairy free), old-fashioned pie crust, an easy and versatile sandwich bread (just like bread should taste like) and moist, delectable birthday cake.  Registration is $40 per person ($70 same household couple) and must be pre-paid online via Jules/website.  Follow this link to reserve a spot:

 "Last year, more than 900 people filled the vendor fair, and we expect a great crowd again this year,” Harris said.” Can you imagine being gluten free and walking into an event where you can safely taste everything offered?  It’s really a phenomenal event.”

 Sponsored by Atlanta Metro Celiacs, a support group for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, the event is also sponsored by Ingles Markets and P.F. Chang's China Bistro.

"This event is a fabulous way to allow people people who are following the gluten-free diet to sample products prior to purchasing,” Harris said.  “Not all gluten-free products are created equally, so being allowed the chance to sample it before purchasing it is a great way to save money and expand your product selections.”

2010 vendors from metro Atlanta or Georgia include:
Allergy Free Foods, American Gra-Frutti LLC, Celiaccess LLC, Figo Pasta, Healing Transitions Coach, Improveat, LLC, Maggiano’s, Mark Fitchpatrick Designs, MyAllergy Free Food,, L.P., My New Life Direction, NuSkin, Olde World Artisans, P.F. Chang’s, Peacecake, Pure Knead, Return to Eden, Sally’s Bakery, Sweet Oven & Company, Sweet Odelle’s Inc., The Dunwoody Bakery, The Free Cookie, The Pop Shop and The Roswell Outback.

National vendors this year include:
Against the Grain Gourmet, Amy’s Kitchen, Bakery on Main, Bella Monica, Beanitos/Bean Brand Foods, Bob's Red Mill, Bready North America, Inc., Blue Diamond Growers, Cabot Cheese, Crunchies Food Company, Domata Living Flour, Edward & Sons, Farmo, Food Should Taste Good, Garden of Life, Glow Gluten Free LLC, Gluten Free Passport, Gluten Free to Go, LLC, Gluten-Free Living, Green’s Beer, Ian’s Natural Foods/Glutino, Ingles Markets, Johnsonville Sausage, Jules Gluten Free, Kettle Cuisine, Kinnikinnick, Mrs. Madewell, LLC, Namaste Foods, Nature's Hilights, Inc., Organic Bistro, Orgran, Pamela's Products, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Riega Foods, Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery, Shelley Case, Smooze, Springer Mountain Farms, Sunshine Burgers, Taste Adventure, The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, The Grainless Baker, Triumph Dining, Udi's Gluten Free Foods, Walden Farms, Whole Foods Market, and World’s Best Carrot Cake.

Proceeds from this year’s vendor fair support the programming of the Atlanta Metro Celiacs support group.

“Atlanta Metro Celiacs is local volunteer support group, serving Atlanta, its suburbs and North Georgia. Its membership consists of patients with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance and/or Dermatitis Herpetiformis, their families, and those exploring if their symptoms are caused by this disease,” Harris said. “The primary objective of our group is to offer support and information to those dealing with these chronic illnesses. We are also committed to furthering the awareness of celiac sprue/celiac disease and gluten intolerance in our region through doctors, dieticians and media.”

The 2010 Gluten Free Vendor Fair will be held at the Hilton Hotel, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross, Ga. 30092. For more information see the Atlanta Metro Celiacs website or for directions, phone the hotel at 770-447-4747.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A tribute for Celiac Disease Awareness Day!

My friend Jennifer calls me Dr. Ginga -- I think that's so cute. It's true, I'm a doctor, but I am not the kind who can cure anything.

If I could, I'd cure ME. I'm sorry, y'all, but Dr. Ginga needs her groove back.

I'd intended all weekend to write a post about National Celiac Disease Awareness Day -- today, Monday, Sept. 13.

In it I was going to pay tribute to those who do so much for those of us with Celiac Disease.

But here it is, days late.  And I'm really too tired to write very eyes are blurry from the day, and my shoulders and head hurts.

Yes, I know SSDD.  Same Symptoms, Different Day.

So here's what I must do for Celiac Disease Awareness Day, 2010.  I must mention those who've made my Celiac life better.

I know I'll screw up and leave someone out. That would hurt you, and it wouldn't make me happy. And my brain cells aren't what they used to be!

So let me just say -- you know who you are.

Pat yourself on the back.

And thanks for all you do for Celiac Awareness.  Maybe, one day soon, I'll be back in the saddle and feeling enough energy to do something other than collapse on the couch when I get home.

Much love, and love and love!

PS Thanks to all who voted for me in the Amy's contest. I didn't win, but I sure had fun!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And the winner is

Of the MyBlogSpark/Yoplait Yogurt Picnic Pack....



I'll be in touch soon to put this in action.

Much love, and congrats to Jessica, a faithful reader of this blog.