Monday, December 14, 2015

"Food Allergy Badasses"

"I think FAB stands for Food Allergy Badasses" - Robyn O'Brien

For those of you who have been to the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference, this pretty much hits the nail on the head. So when this phrase was mentioned by Robyn, I jumped at the chance and asked her if I could use it in my post because it is completely accurate.This was my second year at the conference and it's also one of the most difficult recaps to write about. I almost feel as if I come home so empowered, so loaded with information and products and uplifting stories that I don't want to leave anything out, not one single thing. I want to share all of it with you, everything! How can I sum up so much positive energy in one post? How can I express what anyone can learn and feel from attending the event?

Who Are the Badasses? This is the most wonderful part- YOU are! Every single person that goes-every parent, every vendor, every blogger- anyone who is there is there for the same reason and that's why we come together like this. A complete puzzle is nothing without all of it's pieces so every single person counts. Whether it be a person newly diagnosed with food allergies, a doctor, a company looking to find out what else they can do to help the food allergy community or even someone who is not directly affected by food allergies- we are all a part of it, together. There are no feelings of who knows more or how do I fit in. I truly always feel as if we all meet with the same, pure passion to just help one another.

How Do I Become a Badass? One word- attend. Can you read all of the recaps? Yes. Do you get the same information by just reading about it? Very, very helpful but no. There is a major difference between reading about it and being a part of it. Bunches of topics are covered and you get to pick and choose which places you want to be at. There are wonderful sponsors and companies (here) that take the time to be there for you- all of you so that they can have that one-on-one time with the people that are using their products or want to use their products. Authors and food and just gobs of information are rolled into a few days to make sure that you leave knowing that we are all a family. We are truly all in this together to help one another and any information is good information. What other day would you be able to say that you:

- discussed the latest food allergy research
- tried the world's best allergy-friendly food (safely and specifically fine-tuned to what you need for your specific allergies)
- were armed with a bag full of free "stuff"
- went and had dinner with so many of your favorite food allergy rock stars that you follow only to find out that indeed, they are all as down-to-earth and cool as you thought they would be.

Badasses are Family This is always a learning experience for both sides of the food allergy fence. You know all of those hidden fears that float around inside of your head? Those doubts about what you decided to do as a parent to keep your child safe? Or if you are the only one that felt like there must be more that you need to know about food allergies other than what you are told is correct. This is a no judgement zone- this is the extended family and support network that you have been waiting for since the food allergy diagnosis. This is the place that you cannot wait to go back to next year even before it has ended this year. This is where you know you feel safe, no matter what. And the best part? Endless, free hugs.. because that's what all families do and there is no shortage at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. Perhaps because badasses give the best hugs ;)

Badasses Research Better Than Anyone Yup. Those labels that you check, double-check, recheck again? You will meet many others that are right there with you and they may even give you better information on how to investigate more accurately. Those companies that think they are being seen as "partnering with the food allergy community" but, in fact, are using it as a disguise to market their products for evil vs. good- yeah, we all know about them and yes, we all discuss how we will avoid them politely amongst ourselves. Saving money? Well, duh! This is always a must with food allergies because these safe foods cost and we all love to share. I mean, even when we aren't working, we are working.

Photo courtesy FabLogCon

Who Gathered These Badasses? This conference began because of Jenny Sprague- fellow food allergy mother and blogger of Multiple Food Allergy Help. If you have had the honor of meeting Jenny, you will instantly know that she is the ultimate badass. I wanted to take time to say thank you to Jenny for all of her hard work and dedication for putting this dream of hers into reality for all of us. A big thank you to her staff and people that helped her keep this conference as awesome as it was- I envy you all.

Now What? Now, we all wait to see what the details are for the 2016 Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. Now, we all settle back into our normal lives and schedules, although it often feels a little lonely when you get back home (is it just me?).  Now, I use all of my knowledge to see what else I can do to help other people each and every day. Those of you who made sure to introduce yourself to me- I loved and appreciated it so very much! I know the people that look to me for advice are just as important as my passion to have me continue. A very special thank you to Winona Pure Oils for being my event sponsor, for having their products in the swag bags and for sticking to what they believe in doing just as much as the food allergy community does.

Tell Me! Did you go too? Comment below and tell me about it.

~ Until next year!

1 comment:

  1. It was our first year and we had an amazing time! So cool to meet everyone (especially you Tracy!) and connect in person. It is hard to capture that magical weekend in a blog post, (although Eileen is working on it too), it doesn't compare to being there. And yes, I felt a little empty and lonely after it was over. We decided to sponsor way back in February and it was going to be the highlight of the year and now it's over. We'll just have to wait for the next one. Thanks for including our picture!


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