Celiac Survival Tips From The Nashville Gluten Free and Allergen Wellness Expo

Depot Station

We attended the Gluten Free and Allergen Wellness Expo in Nashville, TN.

Dealing with Celiac can be tough. Well meaning friends encourage you to eat “just a bite” of your favorite foods, not realizing Celiac is an autoimmune disorder and one bite can cause hours of illness. There’s also the fun of reading labels to make sure no wheat is included in the ingredients, learning to deal with the difference in the texture of food and trying to find something that tastes good.  When I told my daughter we would be attending the Nashville Gluten Free and Allergen Wellness Expo, she was thrilled.  She was ready to position herself in the car days in advance in anticipation of samples she could eat.  She had learned to hone her sample skills in her preCeliac days  as a child at Sam’s Club and couldn’t wait to munch her way through the expo.

Roots Hummus

Some of the varieties of Roots Hummus.

Being able to chat with people who suffered from Celiac was a bonus for her and she eagerly took notes from Pam Jordan, who runs the website, Imaceliac.com, and has been diagnosed from Celiac for fifteen years.  Her best tips? When eating at a restaurant, tell the waiter you are allergic to wheat.  Many restaurants don’t understand intolerance or autoimmune disease, but they do understand allergies.  Also, don’t feel you have to give up your favorite recipes! Adapt them to suit your tastes and find ingredients that can be substituted for wheat products.

Enjoy life

New dairy free chocolate chips that actually taste good!

While sampling from 20+ vendors, we found some highlights we want to share. These foods taste so good you won’t believe they are Gluten free.

Bumbalooza

A cake that doesn’t taste Gluten free? Amazing!

Enjoy Life Foods– Contains no artificial anything, free from the 8 most common allergens, gluten free and still tastes good? It sounds too good to be true, but they have accomplished it.  Try their Plentifuls Lentil Chips for a quick snack or try this recipe for Smores Bars I made.
Roots Hummus– They make nine flavors of hummus, including lima bean, which my daughter declared, “The best thing that has ever happened to me! ” She told the rep, “I’ve never had a lima beam I liked before!” I had planned to use these in a wrap recipe, but my daughter took all the samples home with her to eat without sharing!
Grab The Gold–All natural gluten free chocolate and peanut butter protein bars that are moist and taste good. They are high in fiber and keep us full for 4 hours. I’ve been eating them for breakfast each morning. Yum! Great for busy on the go mornings or snacks.
Bumblooza– Seriously the first moist gluten free cake mix I have ever tried. I asked them if they were sure it was gluten free. It’s good enough I am purchasing several boxes to make my daughter a gluten free wedding cake since our local gluten free baker closed.
Freedom Foods – New to the US, these cereals are free from  gluten, wheat, nuts, soy, and eggs, low in salt, high in fiber and still taste good.
And of course, the old stand bys, Udis and Glutino, who have been making gluten free products for years.

Grab the Gold, yummy protein bars that taste good!

Grab the Gold, yummy protein bars that taste good!

My daughter left the event full of samples and declaring, “This is the first time I’ve eaten in months without my stomach hurting!”  The Gluten Free and Allergen Wellness Expo will be coming to the following cities; St Louis, Little Rock, Raleigh/Durham, Virginia Beach, Hartford, and Jacksonville.  It is well worth attending for the presentations and tips.  The gluten free goodies are a bonus!

Comments

  1. says

    Although no one in our house is dealing with Celiac Disease, it’s always good to learn about it in case something ever happens or we need to make the switch to gluten free for some reason.

  2. Amy Desrosiers says

    I love learning about new gluten free companies. My husband and daughter have allergies.

  3. says

    There are so many choices now and that’s so awesome! I don’t think I have a gluten intolerance, but I hear about a lot of people loving the gluten-free lifestyle.

  4. says

    Thankfully, no one in my immediate family is struggling with Celiac disease. But, I still think it’s great to try new and different foods. And, it’s really important to be aware of what gluten-free is and I love your tip to make it more understandable by explaining to restaurants (and others) that it’s an allergy of sorts.

  5. says

    My niece has celiac disease and we have experienced how difficult it can be. I’m gluten free due to a sensitivity but nothing like what she has to go through. I love how many brands and restaurants are becoming more accommodating.

  6. says

    I love that they have so many more options now for people with allergies and people who have celiac disease. You are spot on when you say-you don’t have to give up your fave recipes-you just have to adapt them-and often they taste way better and are better for you!

  7. says

    I used to have people tell me to just have a bite of something even though it was on my list of things I could not eat without getting sick- they are no longer friends. I wish there was an event near me, I would love to go. Things have come a long way for gluten free eating.

  8. says

    I have friends and family with Celiac’s Disease, so this is definitely helpful. I always stress over what to serve at family gatherings because I want to make sure there isn’t gluten in my dishes.

  9. says

    These seem like some great products. I love the variety, my gluten free friends, will surely love trying out these products.

  10. says

    Great list! I have a few friends with Celiacs and will definitely pass this along to them. They’re always complaining about how hard it is to find food that tastes good.

  11. says

    I tried going gluten free years ago, to see if it would help my ulcerative colitis. I was sort of relieved when it didn’t, I’m so glad there are more gluten-free choices these days.

  12. says

    Wow, this sounds like such an amazing event! What a great way to learn and get to try all different kinds of amazing products. I’d love to do something like this!

  13. says

    I love this.. when I went gluten free about 8 years ago, no one ever had heard of celiac and gluten free products, love how that changed and there are SOOOO many products now and even an expo, wish they had one close by, thanks for sharing, sure looked like fun

  14. says

    I have so many friends who have Celiac’s that they would have loved to visit that expo! Talk about a dream experience for them finding great foods that are safe for them to eat!

  15. says

    This is great! I m going to look for an expo like this in our area. You were also able to introduce me to some brands I have never tried. I really enjoy your post on gluten free living.

  16. says

    My grandmother recently gave up all gluten and she says she feels amazing! She says she doesn’t have any problem finding the things needed to make all her favorites. It’s great that so many options are so readily available.

  17. Pam says

    What a great deal of info and resources in one place. I think this would be so beneficial and also fun. I have a niece who suffers and I will pass this info on to her.

  18. says

    I really don’t know much about this disease but it’s great that this expo highlights how to live better with it. No one should have to suffer due to illness.

  19. says

    How wonderful is it that Gluten-Free is also being associated with delicious? I think it’s come a long way in a very short time!

  20. says

    So many people are diagnosed with Celiac’s disease, so I think it is fabulous that there are many companies that are introducing gluten free options to those who can’t tolerate it. Nothing is worse than when food is the enemy!

  21. says

    Oh wow! Many gluten free companies have such amazing stories. I know there are definitely great benefits to being gluten free. I love that this has absolutely no artificial anything.

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