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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reflections on the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event in Atlanta

This week, I celebrate my gluten-free anniversary.  It was in May of 2007 when I entered into a life of gluten freedom, a journey from which I have never looked back.

Earlier this month, I had the privilege to attend the GFAF Wellness Event in Atlanta. I say privilege because I am also humbled by the companies that dedicate themselves to making product for gluten-free and allergy sensitive people. 

What I found at the expo was interesting -- I would say that maybe half the vendors were from Metro Atlanta. I remember the first expo I attended in 2008 -- there were impressive vendors from all over the U.S.. but the number of locally made products was small.

Not anymore. It's amazing the types of product you can purchase in a storefront in Metro Atlanta. And they're good products at that. I remember when no bakery made a gluten-free cupcake.  Now.....  

Look at the folks lining up for samples....

I found a couple of tasty new (to me) products at the event. 

• I am enchanted by Frannie's Gluten Free Muffins, zucchini muffins -- one of my favorite flavors.  And owner Frannie designed her own packaging. She also has a sweet and very proud Mom. One of the things I liked was her packaging -- she wraps her muffins individually, which keeps them fresher and cross-contamination free.

• Jules Dowler Shepard, a good buddy from past expos and Twitter, was also appealing to the crowd, selling her flour from her Jules Gluten Free  site.  Her product line really is great for the newly gluten free. Her afternoon demo was sponsored by Earth Balance -- who also provided some fine vegan butter-tasting popcorn!

BTW, Earth Balance®  Vegan Buttery Sticks have been nominated for Vegetarian Times’ 2013 Foodie Awards in the category of Butter + Butter Alternatives. Polls are open until May 31so vote now—and spread the word!

• Always a gluten-free pacesetter, Marilyn Santulli from American Gra-Frutti was serving cookies made with her new Cassava flour. Look for a future recipe here using this flour.
Her new product line, Marilyn's Artisan Crackers, which includes my favorites, the cheese dots and the graham crackers.

• PASCHA Chocolate (check out their divine website)  is about to launch its chocolate into the gf world. I tasted the 66 percent chocolate -- it was a very dense, delicious bite of chocolate. I would buy this product. 

If you missed this expo, there are events in the future as well: 

Raleigh/Durham, NC ~ August 17, 2013 ~ Durham Convention Center 10 am - 4 pm
Baton Rouge, LA ~ November 2, 2013 ~ The Cook Hotel & Conference Center at LSU10 am - 4 pm

So with that, I'd like to encourage you to support vendors who support you in your being gluten free. I think they appreciate us!

Much love, and many thanks!

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