September 13 marked Celiac Awareness Day. We celebrate being gluten free and getting the word out to others about the allergy and gluten intolerance issues. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a Gluten Free Expo in Secaucus, NJ. The expo was two days with many vendors, authors and bloggers all dedicated to the Gluten Free Lifestyle. I found out about this event on Facebook and was immediately intrigued. Personally, I do not have an allergy to gluten, but I do have a thyroid problem, and studies have shown that there is a correlation between thyroid and gluten intolerance.
I went to the expo on Sunday, September 8th with an open mind. I tried going gluten free before now, I had only succeeded for a few days before I gave up and said, “I can’t do this.” I decided to give the gluten free lifestyle another try; and what better to start again than to attend this expo with the support of many others who are going through the same as I.
When first entering the expo, each person was given a recycled bag which included mini treats and a directory of all the vendors that attended. The directory included vendors’ websites for the convenience of contacting them after the expo. With rows and rows of vendors I did not know where to start. My first tasting was the new gluten free salted caramel cashew cookie by Udi’s. I loved the ratio of salt to caramel, I didn’t think that the caramel taste was over powering at all. There were over 100 vendors, each one had different samples of their products, you definitely got your monies worth. From breakfast foods to desserts, magazines and children’s books, vendors touched on every category possible. Here are some of my favorite vendors that I was able to meet during this event:
Favorite Drink: Zipp Fizz
Favorite Dessert: Jac’s Bakeshop & Bistro
Favorite Book: Free To Be…Gluten Free By: Heather Spiegel
Favorite Snack: Udi’s Salted Caramel Cashew Cookie
I am so happy that I had the opportunity to attend this event. I met some great people and learned a lot of useful information at the same time. If you ever have a chance to attend this expo I definitely recommend that you do!