Sunday, September 18, 2016

3 G's- GFAF Event, Greensboro & Good Times

Click here for a location near you~
Since 2014, I have attended a bunch of allergy-friendly events (need details? Click here) Why do I go? There are seriously a ton of reasons so let me share what happened this year in a new location that is even closer for the Triad, North Carolina area. There's a lot to tell but I will try to consolidate for those of you who aren't into the very long blog posts (I get it, trust me). For starters, if you see the above logo, you are headed toward a family-oriented day of samples, information, listen-in's and (honestly) a brand new extension to your food allergy family. Kind of like those distant relatives you never met before except all of these relatives are the good kind ;)

Miltons Baking, Sara's Kabob Shop, KALOVeggie Fries,
Neat, Enjoy Life Foods, HonkyTonk Smokehouse
In my opinion, one of the best things  about going to an allergy-friendly event are the samples and products that are clearly labeled for everyone's safety. Obviously, it's impossible to be 100% allergy-friendly as everyone's allergies are different. If you have never been to one of these events, go! If you are unsure about anything, ANYTHING then ask questions- that is what this event is all about. If you are concerned that someone in your family may not be safe attending then go alone and scope it out for the next scheduled event. These people are professionals and expect to have questions asked. With NutriSon having multiple food allergies of his own, this is one event he looks forward to attending because he can safely graze as a typical teenage boy does. If you still choose not to attend, no hard feelings- more for the rest of us. Luckily, there are vendors who literally provided walls and walls of samples...holy samples Milton's Baking Company! (click here to see exactly what I mean)

Anne's Heavenly Bites

Allergic Traveler, Beth Mincher, Infinity Holistic Health,
Enjoy Life Foods, Guilford County Beekeepers, Tito's, Aleia's
The Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event is more than just food- it's also about finding new products, sit-in presentations and information galore. This is why it's typically a five hour event; there is so much going on that you truly need the entire five hours to hear and see everything. Each vendor table will take as much time to speak with you about their products as you need. There is no feeling of being rushed off to get to the next person- these companies understand that their consumers are the most important aspect to their products (I do request that you do not take this as an invitation to torment the vendors at future events as badgering vs. asking takes away from those who are there to ask and listen rather). Can I give an extra special shout out to one vendor that caught my attention- Guilford County Beekeepers who sold Justin Case Bee Products. Don't get me wrong, all of the vendors were super nice and told me everything plus some about their products but this gentleman intrigued me with all of his knowledge about their products. He asked about our allergies, discussed which honey had which specific blends of pollen as per the season, told me I shouldn't fear bees (GASP! NEVER!!!) and they actually rescue bees from fallen trees. How cool is that?! 

Listen-Ins Gone Visual
I wanted to incorporate a few visual videos for those of you who prefer to skim articles (me, hand raised). NutriDaughter and I put together this recap video to give you an idea of what you missed if you were not able to attend*. 

Computer misbehaving? Click here to watch now

Did you catch all of that excitement?! It's just a small amount of everything that happened.

More Family Before the Event 
An additional perk for being a Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness blogger is the pre-event dinner. I can't speak for the other bloggers but it's an evening where you can get a delicious meal (yay, no cooking!) and you finally get to meet the other bloggers that are there too. Blogging is a surreal experience- you follow people from all over parts of the planet only to one day meet them in person. Again, not speaking for the other bloggers but even if it's the first time you meet, it's as if you have known each other forever. Sharing food allergy experiences over a meal, discussing how we each arrived at the place in time that we are at- this is my support group. This is my positive reinforcement and this is a place that is always surrounded by uplifting conversations and how we can continue to help other people. The wait staff was extremely knowledgeable about everyone's food requirements, they attended to our every need without batting an eye and they were extremely courteous. 

This year's blogger dinner was at Print Works Bistro- Greensboro, NC

Hey SunButter, I Didn't Forget About You
I was honored to have been sponsored for this year's Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event by the wonderful people at SunButter (who I also blog for... did I mention I blog A LOT). They provided NutriDaughter & I with their t-shirts and a ton of samples and coupons for the attendees of the event. Surprisingly, there are still people out there that have not heard about SunButter yet! Maybe I am biased but how could you not?! SunButter contains more nutrition than peanut butter and is is free of peanut/tree nut/gluten/soy/dairy and is Non GMO. And, of course, since the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event brings out the silliness in us, NutriDaughter & I also made a video for SunButter- I give you SunButter Affection

Please be sure and check the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event website to see where they will be next. Can't wait to see everyone again in 2017!

*In our excitement, NutriDaughter & I mistitled the video GFAF Expo. The correct title should have read GFAF Event. Very special thank you's to Jen Cafferty for allowing us to use it anyway and for understanding our need to share.

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