Monday, May 21, 2018

Gluten Free Ticket Giveaway

I am an event geek, plain and simple. I love meeting people, vendors and allergy-friendly products, hearing presentations and the samples....I admittedly hoard samples. But why? For those of you who have never been to an event that caters to those with food allergies, let me show you my world of blogging, eating and product hoarding (I say hoard but it's really taking new product home to try them, stashing some for future sharing and giveaways and a few..well, more than a few for my family). Picture this and then join me on June 2nd at the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event. You will notice the handy dandy giveaway link below because I have six tickets to giveaway to entice you even more.

Get Your Swag On Did I mention the swag? don't know what swag is?! Ok, swag is a bag of free samples that you get when you check in at the event. So for a very budget-friendly Saturday ($10 adults, Children under 13 FREE and $8 for Seniors & Military with ID at the door) you immediately get a nice bag of goodies that you will also use to place other samples or items that you can purchase at the event. How is this sounding to you so far? Think about it- going to an event where you can bring the entire family, get free stuff, sample and eat while you walk through and find out about products that you may not even know existed. I'd say it's a win-win. Here's what you need to know-
June 2nd 2018
10 Am - 3 PM
Home & Garden Building
421 27th Street NW
Winston-Salem, NC 27105

Why Am I So Excited About This Event? Although I am an event geek, I am also picky about not wanting to travel too far so when I heard that this year's Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event is going to be in my hometown of Winston-Salem I felt like an event geek gone to heaven! Grab a pen and paper (ugh, it's the year 2018 Nutrimom nobody except you still writes things down!) or take a screenshot then visit the official website for complete details. I recommend that you consider ordering your tickets online to avoid standing in long line the day of the event. Event geek tip: long lines means you will not be one of the first to get the vendor samples and if you have kids, they don't like to wait either...just saying. OR chance it, enter my ticket giveaway below and see if you get a free ticket before you purchase them. Either way, I know all of the vendors will be excited to see you and speak with you.

Did I Mention That I Am Sharing Too? Not only am I honored to be a part of the event blogger team again but I will also have a vendor table and I will be presenting at this event. You may say How the heck are you going to do all of this Nutrimom and why? Simple- because I love sharing. I blog about the event because I want everyone to know why they should be there to learn more and stress less. I will have a vendor table because I love meeting everyone in person, I love sharing and I love helping. My table will offer information about me, what I do, how to order my ebook The Stepping Stones To Food Allergies and samples supplied by some of my favorite companies and products who also love to share. Samples will include SunButter, back issues of Gluten Free & More Magazine, MadeGood FoodsThe Greater Knead, free2b Foods SunCups, full size SeaBuckWonders facial cleanser and TummyDrops (thanks to all of the wonderful companies who sent product to share!) I will be presenting at 12:30 - 1:00 PM "Food Allergies: Going Beyond the Box" because I want to show everyone that allergy-friendly products are more than just as directed on the box (I'd give you a hint but I think you should come by and sit in on it for the full effect).

Ready To Enter For A Chance to Win Tickets?!
There are just a few rules I need you to read but then click away. Don't forget to share with others...maybe if they win, they will give you some of their swag.
  • My Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event ticket giveaway will begin on Tuesday May 22nd and end at Midnight Thursday May 24th EST 
  • Entries will be through Rafflecopter but sharing this blog link is always appreciated
  • None of anyone's entry information will be shared, spammed or sold because that is never what I am about
  • 6 Tickets (3 people will each get 2 entry tickets) will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter
  • Winners MUST be attending the Winston-Salem Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event
  • Tickets are non transferable
  • Winners will be notified via email and will pick up their tickets at the event at the Will Call booth (yay, no standing in line!)
  • Neither I nor the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event assume any responsibility for any finger cramping during the contest entry process
And the Winners Are

Don't Forget to Wear Red Shoes! As part of my must to share and help, I have pledged to donate $1 to Red Sneakers For Oakley for each unique photo that an event attendee snaps and shares with me at the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event. You MUST attend the Winston-Salem event and you MUST tag Red Sneakers For Oakley and me so we can reshare for even more awareness. Do you have to wear red sneakers? Nope. Any red shoe will do- even red socks. Get creative (but keep it family-friendly). 
Stop at my booth, find me, take a photo with me and let's help our food allergy community together.

Tagging Cheat Sheet
Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event   @GFAFWellness         #GFAFEvent
Red Sneakers For Oakley                          @oakley_red               #redsneakersforoakley
Nutrimom (me!)                                         @TracyBNutrimom    #TracyBNutrimom

Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event    @gfafwellnessevent
Red Sneakers For Oakley                           @redsneakersforoakley
Nutrimom (me again!)                                @TracyBNutrimom

Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event     GFAFWellnessEvent
Red Sneakers For Oakley                            redsneakersforoakley
Nutrimom (yup, I'm still here!)                   NutrimomFAL


Monday, May 14, 2018

Awareness- Not Just a Hashtag

How do you share your thoughts on allergies and asthma?

May is the month to stretch your wings and reach out to those who may not understand that life is so very precious. Some may not understand that one moment can change a life forever. Some may think that waiting to use a medication will not make a difference. Some may not know that everywhere, people are dying because the proper knowledge was not given to them. Each of us is different and each of us finds a way to reach out with our own voice. Making your allergy voice heard can be anything- a tweet, an article, attending an event or even distributing information that will help others understand the importance of being vigilant for safety's sake. There is no such thing as too large or too small- the important thing is to find a way and do it.

This May, I was invited to attend the Asthma Bloggers Summit hosted by the Allergy & Asthma Network. This summit was an amazing day that compiled food allergy and asthma bloggers mixed with representatives from AstraZenecaThe Chest FoundationRegeneronSanofi and Allergy & Asthma Network (of course). With a laid back discussion, the day included the introduction of new resources available through the Allergy & Asthma Network, a Q&A on social media pointers  but more importantly our thoughts, opinions and personal accounts were included in the discussions. I felt that capturing each person's different experiences makes for a well-rounded, upfront discussion and brainstorming session that fuels nothing but the overwhelming need to help even more. Don't get me wrong, it's ok to be told things but when you are asked light bulbs go off, people begin to scribble and you can feel the increased advocacy in the room. Sharing within a no judgment zone is an amazing feeling. The empowerment that was held inside that room is an incredible energy that sent me back home pumped up and full of I can conquer the world ambition.

I Mentioned New Resources I am all about sharing new resources- the more we have at our fingertips, the more all of us can learn from each other and teach others. The Allergy & Asthma Network brought us up to speed about three great places that we can go to for asthma.

  • Asthma: Take Action. Take Control A partnership with The Chest Foundation, this site shares info graphs, patient testimonials, an asthma control quiz, asthma severity assessment tool, downloadable fact sheets and a postcard size info card that you can share with others.
  • Be the Boss of Your Asthma If you ever needed to know or share facts about your asthma, this is another place to get what you need. Downloadable fact sheet, doctor visit checklist, Severe Eosinophilic Asthma (S.E.A.) information and guide to managing symptoms of S.E.A. accompanied by videos with leading asthma doctors helps you get a step up on your life with asthma.
  • E-Asthma Bunches of information on how to check if your asthma could be Eosinophilic asthma (a type of severe asthma) which can increase inflammation in the lungs. The site's "What? Who? How?" approach consists of a short video describing how eosinophils effect the lungs, what and who you should do and see for a diagnosis, a doctor's checklist and lung questionnaire to better the understanding of your diagnosis with your doctor.
With so many difficulties between trying to correctly describe your symptoms to a doctor mixed with the fear that sometimes accompanies a physician visit, all of these can be used alone or together to get you ready and proactive for your health.

Kortney of AllergyGirlEats
Yup, I Admittedly Fangirled I describe food allergy support as "a vast, never-ending place where people from all over the world meet. This is a family that you never knew existed and that you didn't think would ever be a part of your life". Am I the only one who feels this way? I am amazed every single day by the support that our community gives to each other while asking for nothing in return. So when I started to look over the other name tags of who else was going to be at the Summit, I did geek out just a little bit. Summits where you finally get to meet another blogger that you have known virtually for years is like running into a rock star in the food allergy world. These people that you correspond with, that you ask advice from and share your life with are finally there, in front of you and you can have a conversation beyond your computer screen. Call me a geek, I will proudly own it. (I may or may not have silently stalked Kortney, waiting to see her reaction.) To view all of my Summit photos, click here.

Drushane TeeHee
But It Gets Even Better This summit was followed by the yearly Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill. What does this mean? Attendees heard some pretty powerful testimonials before we were offered tips and highlights of what we could discuss with our state's Congressional leaders. We heard from Luca Ingrassia- a 10 year old boy who suffered an anaphylactic reaction on an airplane. This brave boy's most moving statement was "If a 10 year old knows the risks, an airline should." We also heard from Drushane TeeHee, the mother who's spreading awareness on the side effects of Singulair (montelukast sodium) which caused her son to take his own life. Although the side effects may not happen to everyone that take it, I urge you to read this article, be very aware and share with others. Drushane's story left many of us, including myself, teary-eyed but so very grateful that she was brave enough to share her son's story to help others.

Then We Hit the Pavement Yes, we all went to Congress and spoke to our state's representatives. I have never been so excited, afraid, tired, exhilarated and proud all in the same day. The topics that all of us fought to urge Congress to support and pass included access to care, step therapy, disease managementmedication access, telemedicine, affordable medications and treatments, asthma and allergy program funding, health equality, food product labeling, cross-contact and USP797. Amidst the maze of Washington, D.C. were hopeful hearts, voices that were sharing concern and personal stories of themselves and others to let Congress understand how important our causes are to us and everyone else in our community and beyond. I proudly sported my red sneakers in support of the Debbs family which also proves that you can be a voice even without saying a word.

I want to thank the Allergy & Asthma Network for including me at this wonderful experience with so many other amazing people in addition to their sponsors that made this possible. This little blogger girl from North Carolina felt amazed at all of the people who supported each other but also I amazed myself by being a part of all of this when I never would have seen myself doing this. I am filled with even more hope than before, I have gained new food allergy family members and most of all, I find myself asking "What do I do now?" If I had an answer, that would be the end of my story and I refuse to stop where I am.

Allie Bahn, Gary Fitgerald & Marcela Gieminiani

Summit attendees included Allie BahnEmma Amoscato, Kortney Kwong Hing, Henry Ehrlich, Jennifer Roberge, Kerri MacKay, Erin Malawar and Andrea Jensen.