Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gluten & Allergen Free Expo Dallas 2014- Saturday Top Picks!

Psalm 37:3-4 NASV
"Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart."

Wow!  What a day!  I just got home from attending my first ever Gluten & Allergen Free Expo and I just gotta say it was amazing.  With over 150 Vendor Booths, and a full day of Classes, it was impossible to experience everything.  I'm so glad I'll be going back tomorrow.  Here I am with my goodies from the O'Mission Beer Blogger Swag Bag.

I'll write more in depth in the coming weeks with product reviews and what I've learned from the classes, but for now I wanted to give my Day 1 Top Picks.

My top favorite sponsor is definitely O'Mission Beer.  They sponsored a Blogger Meet & Greet this morning with special swag bags and free t-shirts and hats.  I normally wouldn't be drinking at 10:30am, but sampling their Gluten Free Beers among friends was a lot of fun.  I've been a big fan of O'Mission for quite some time, and they definitely went out of their way to make us feel special and appreciated.  I swapped cards with a lot of other bloggers and look forward to collaborating with some of them in future endeavors!

My top favorite vendor booth was absolutely, hands down Kim and Jake's.  Their Gluten Free crusty bread was simply delicious.  The BEST gluten free bread I have ever had.  They have perfected the crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside in a beautiful and flavorful sourdough base that is out of this world.  Oh yeah, they have a fan for life in me!

My top favorite presenter was Betty Murray, CN.  Ms. Murray is a Certified Nutritionist and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner who has dealt personally with a gluten-free lifestyle and managing an autoimmune condition.  One of the greatest and most eye-opening things I learned from her is that Celiac's Disease and Gluten Intolerance can be present with NO GUT SYMPTOMS.  Wow.  This means that a person can have a reaction to gluten and never know it, since they don't
present "classic" Celiac symptoms like distended belly and irritable bowel syndrome.  Things like neurological disorders, joint problems, skin rashes, etc. can all be traced directly to gluten even if a person doesn't seem to have direct gluten symptoms.  Incredible.  She also said it averages up to 11 years for a person to be correctly diagnosed, as our current diagnostic tools often can only detect Celiac's once it is severe and there is complete destruction of the intestines.  Whoa.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to wait until I am entirely broken to be fixed.  She recommends gluten free for anybody with any health issues, and offers extensive and thorough, yet simple and cost-effective testing in her office to determine what foods you may be sensitive to, including gluten.  Bottom line, if you feel better after about a week of gluten free, you'll probably feel a whole lot better by going gluten free completely.

My top favorite service represented was the Great Gluten Escape at Gilmont.  This week-long summer camp is entirely gluten free!  This is a chance for gluten free children ages 7-15 to be able to just be a kid, relax, and let go with friends, knowing that they don't have to be singled out or miss out on goodies to protect their bodies and be healthy.  How cool is that?!  Well, even cooler, this Christian camp offers an incredible program for families with children who have special needs.  Circle of Friends is offered entirely free of charge, and gives parents a much-needed respite from providing constant care to their special needs children.  I look forward to plugging in to this organization in sacrificial service for a wonderful crusade.  Check it out online and learn how you can donate time and resources to keep this incredible program successful.  And please share with anyone you know who has a child with special needs, so they can have this incredible camping experience where everyone is included, accepted, and loved.

Be sure to keep an eye on my Facebook Page where I'll be posting more LIVE updates and pictures from Day 2 of the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Dallas, Tx.  Join me there if you can for a day full of fun and more freebies than you can shake a stick at! (My husband, son, and I came home with 4 full bags of goodies, not to mention full bellies from all the free samples!)  It's from 9-3 at the Dallas Market Hall – North Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207.  Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $5 for kids.

Yours truly,
Country Mama Hippie Chic
aka Brandi Schunk

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