Monday, November 17, 2014

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

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
"...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Wow!  What a weekend it was!  I feel honored and blessed to have attended the Dallas Gluten & Allergen Free Expo as a blogger.  It was amazing seeing how many people were there, and how many vendors as well.  I have only been on this Gluten Free journey for 4 years now, and the developments of gluten free foods has been astounding even in this short amount of time.  The products represented ranged from cookies and crackers, to protein bars and shakes, to pizza and beer.  There were wonderful and educational presentations offered all day long, leaving me wondering, "Do I go to the class or go to the booths?"  All-in-all it was a great experience and I'm so glad I went.

Be on the lookout for a GIVEAWAY from me in the coming days.  The product vendors were kind enough to pass on tons of free samples for my readers, so I'll be giving away a full goodie bag for one lucky person!  Stay tuned for details...

Here are my highlights from Sunday at the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo in Dallas.

Most unique thing I learned: you can use sorghum based beer ounce for ounce and cup for cup as a milk replacement in baking!  Wow, who knew?!  According to Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod, the Executive Editor of Delight Gluten-Free Magazine and author of
The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook: Spicing Up Life with Italian, Asian, and Mexican Recipes, using beer in place of milk adds a nice sweetness and fluffiness to many recipes such as pancakes, porridge, and flatbread. It's an easy way to replace milk if you are going dairy free, and using sorghum based beer like Bard's (her recommendation) makes it still gluten free! Sounds good to me!

Favorite vendor product line: Simple Mills.  Why I am totally thrilled to have discovered this company is well-summed up in a message from the founder, who I had the privilege and honor of meeting in person.  
"When I discovered that my family and I had several allergies to common foods, I first turned to the shelves at grocery stores. But I discovered that many foods contained long ingredient lists, large amounts of refined sugar (often the first ingredient!), preservatives, and other strange things that I couldn't pronounce. I didn't cook with these things at home, and surely didn't want to feed them to my family... So why did I have to buy them in food and mixes at the store? I thought there had to be a better way and that's why I created Simple Mills. 
At Simple Mills, we sincerely believe simple is best. We create delicious products made of nutrient-rich, real-food ingredients that are easily available in nature (not created in a laboratory somewhere). We never use refined sugar, high-glycemic flours, gluten, or genetically-modified ingredients. This means that our products not only taste great, they also make you feel great! 
-Katlin, Founder of Simple Mills"
There you have it, real food, plain and simple. Thank you, Katlin!

Greatest mystery solved: I have been researching Essential Oils for quite some time, and have often wondered about the effectiveness of each brand.  On Sunday I took the opportunity to pit doTERRA and Young Living against each other in a head to head battle for pain relief.  I showed up with a lot of pain in my knee, low back, and neck and stopped first thing at the two essential oils booths in the show.  I am happy to say that both products relieved my pain completely, and within half an hour I was no longer thinking about how much my body hurt and was free to enjoy the show.  A huge thanks to Pat of Young Living and Randy of doTERRA for so generously helping me out!  Pat used Young Living's Valor, Pan Away and Peppermint for a great pain relieving trio.   Randy used doTERRA's Deep Blue Rub for a simple one-step application.  I'm not going to debate which company or product line is better overall, but as far as pain relief goes, both are a winner in my book.

Favorite Blogger: The Gluten Free Makeup Gal.  She is so sweet and down-to-earth, and tons of fun to be around.  This Gal and I had some serious fun watching Stuart's presentation of Kitchen Craft cookware (which, by the way, I now want every piece of!)  

Okay, that's enough for now.  I'll be sharing more in the coming weeks on product reviews and more highlights from the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo.  This in a national event, so if you missed Dallas be sure to check their website for other upcoming shows, and mark your calendars for November 2015 when they'll be back in Dallas!

Yours truly,

Country Mama Hippie Chic
aka Brandi Schunk


  1. I didn't know the beer for milk thing either. Woah. Now I'm sorry I missed that talk. Lemme go raid the fridge now...


    Awww, you're too sweet.   We did have a ton of fun! You're adorable and spunky and hilarious and we should totally somehow hang out more often. Plano to Cedar Park is like a 3 hour drive, but whatevs. We can make it work. ;)

    1. Hey gal! Ya know, I'm from Austin and do go visit from time to time...