Click on the video above to see the awesome brands we found at the GFAF Expo Chicagoland on April 7, 2018 in Schaumburg, IL.
In case you don’t know, I have the best husband on the planet. He is so supportive of my dietary requirements and he drives me to the ends of the Earth to find the best gluten free foods and products. Last weekend, he drove almost nine hours from Mississippi to Schaumburg, IL so I could attend the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo-Chicagoland. That’s true love, y’all.
As an official blogger for GFAF Expo, I gained early entry to meet other bloggers and enjoy breakfast from BFree, an amazing gluten-free company that offers a variety of breads that are free from top allergens. BFree was so kind to provide each blogger with a great swag bag complete with some of their best-selling products! I was excited to learn that BFree products are now available at Costco! Be sure to check out the store locator on their website to see where else these products can be purchased.
At 10:00am sharp, the doors opened and a crowd like I have never seen flooded the room. Nearly 7,000 people attended the two-day event for the opportunity to try new gluten free products, purchase items to take home, attend educational classes and meet others who also must eat gluten free. Everyone in attendance received a teal Enjoy Life tote bag that perfectly matches the new product packaging that was recently launched.
Among the crowd was my husband, Thomas, and our 12-year-old son, Nathan, who made their first stop at Enjoy Life’s amazing booth. During their stroll through Enjoy Life Land, they made stops in the Allergy Friendly Forest, Cookie Canyon, Chocolate River and Freedom Mountain where they picked up samples of their favorite products that are free of the 14 top allergens to help fill their teal tote bags. Nathan was thrilled to get chocolate bars and mini chips to bring home. Those are his favorites!
Their next stop was the Sonoma Flatbreads booth. Sonoma Flatbreads is Nathan’s favorite gluten free pizza and he visited the booth more times than I care to admit. Let’s just say that the terrific people at Sonoma Flatbreads now know him by name and he wasn’t hungry when we left the event. I was happy to pick up some coupons so we can buy more Sonoma Flatbreads pizza since it is sold in our local Kroger.
After visiting those two booths, I’m not sure where they went next. I lost them in the crowd as I visited with representatives of companies that provide products and services that help the celiac and gluten free community. There were local and national bakeries offering samples of their sweet treats, companies promoting nutritional supplements, health care providers answering questions and offering tests, and even gluten-free cosmetic companies helping attendees find safe products.
Since my dietary restrictions go much deeper than gluten (dairy, soy, nuts, corn, etc.), I was unable to try samples from most of the booths. I was excited to go for the education! I took a break from the expo to attend Tiffany Hinton’s class, Mom’s Guide to Healing Gut Inflammation, where I learned so much to improve my health. I also stopped by Tiffany’s booth where we discussed recipes in her latest book/program, Thrive Clean, which I have been using for the past seven weeks. Tiffany, a functional medicine coach and best-selling author, has really helped me get my health back on track and I was happy to spend some time visiting with her at the event.
I finally bumped into Thomas and Nathan on the last row of exhibitors where I stocked up on Chebe Cinnamon Roll Mix and Pizza Crust Mix to fulfill our daughter’s special request. Our tote bags were full and our feet were tired after visiting more than 100 booths. We said our goodbyes to old and new friends before we headed back to Mississippi in a car filled with teal tote bags and out-of-this-world memories of the largest gluten free event in the United States.
If you missed GFAF Expo-Chicagoland, there are eight more opportunities across the country to attend. Check out GFAF Expo’s schedule here and make plans to attend the one nearest to your home—even it is nine hours away!