Wednesday, December 28, 2016

San Diego Gluten Free Expo

I have been super lucky in my Celiac diagnosis in that it happened after a boom in gluten-free living began. I had a friend diagnosed over ten years ago who had a horrible time adapting to being gluten free - labeling was almost non-existent and whatever gluten free products there were could basically be described as horrible bricks of yuck. Forget going out of your home to eat - if you asked if something had gluten, the response was either confusion over what it was, with many back and forth questions, or "no, but we can add it!" Gluten-free living at the time was cumbersome and expensive, and it was an exhausting endeavor to try and find products that were safe to eat.

Basically this:

Or this:

Gluten free has come a long way baby! Today, I can easily walk into a store and find gluten free products. While I still enjoy baking and cooking from scratch, sometimes it's easier and more time-effective to find a ready made product that is already labeled gluten free that I can simply grab and go.


Gluten free can still very much be hit or miss. There have been many products that I've tried that were simply awful. In particular, a gluten free sourdough comes to mind - it tasted of straight apple-cider vinegar. I even tried to make stuffing out of it in order to not waste it; the loaf was half the size of a normal loaf and $7. It was simply awful, nothing could save it, and I was so upset that I had paid three times the normal price of sourdough on an inferior product. 

I often find new-to-me gluten free products in stores and, when that happens, you can find me paused in the aisle looking up reviews trying to get a feel on whether or not this product is worth the risk of the gluten-free price (because while gluten free has come a long way, the price still remains in the two to three times more-than-gluten price range). It's still time consuming trying to find quality gluten free products, unfortunately.

Which is why I am SO excited about the San Diego Gluten Free Expo

This is an event that popped up when I first began googling "gluten free celiac" after my diagnosis. It was an event I made a note in my calendar to remind me of, and a page I kept visiting for more information as it became available. 

In my visits, I saw a blurb for "bloggers wanted" for the expos - it required you to chose what city you wanted, and to send in your blog for review. I sent mine in, figuring that my blog was probably still too new, but that I could keep getting updates. Lo and behold - I was chosen to be one of the bloggers!

I am so super excited about this for a multitude of reasons! I've already mentioned the first above - it can be really tough to find gluten-free foods that are yummy without spending a lot of money on trial and error. The Gluten Free Expo is the perfect place to sample, test, and try a variety of gluten free foods without breaking the bank. The foodie in me is super excited for this - even before going gluten free, I loved trying new things, and so this is a way to continue that love while still remaining safe. The list of vendors is exciting - some I already know, but there are quite a few that are new to me. In addition to gluten free, they also have an allergen free section at the expo, so it is a fantastic place to go if you have any allergens along with being gluten free!

In addition, the expo offers "classes" for those interested in educating themselves on gluten-free related topics. The one I am most interested in is "Gluten - Beyond the GUT!" with Dr. Edward Madrid. Too often people attribute celiac to an "upset tummy disease", but it is really a whole-body autoimmune disorder. I still have issues with my joints, and, before diagnosis, had brain fog, insomnia, extreme fatigue, and a whole host of other issues. Going gluten free has very much saved my life, in addition to my gut!

If you have stuck around for this super-long blog post, here is where you benefit! As a blogger for this event, I have five (5) tickets to give away!! 

Leave me a comment letting me know that you are interested in going to the expo, and I will chose five winners! Please be local to San Diego and able to go on February 11th or 12th. I will chose winners on Friday, January 6th. 

If you are not one of my lucky winners, you can still get discounted tickets! 

Purchase tickets through January 10th and enter code "EARLYBIRD" for 30% off.

If you are not an early bird, purchase tickets through February 10th using code "ADVANCE" for 20% off. 

(FYI - I do get some affiliate sales if you click the links above when purchasing tickets)

If you are interested in gluten free products, or learning more about the gluten-free lifestyle, I highly encourage you to attend this event! 

(I am pretty sure this is the event coordinator's mentality! 😄)