Article Courtesy: Erica Dermer, Celiac and the Beast
It was very strange to be in my hometown of Phoenix for the latest installment of the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo. I always tell everyone that I have way more CATB readers outside my own city. It’s so strange that I have people taking photos with me in Chicago and Dallas, and I’m pretty sure the only other people that know me here are bloggers…and my mom. Not that I’m in this for Instagram photos, but I mean, let’s face it – when I make you do funny poses or karate chop the camera, you’re gonna remember that photo for a while. I’m in this for advocacy, and finding the best damn tasting safe food I can find!
But back to Phoenix…
Phoenix has always been a smaller gluten-free market. While I believe that there are probably just as many celiac sufferers here as say – Portland or Chicago – it just doesn’t feel like the biggest community. However, there are AMAZING people here in Phoenix that are working to change that. Chandice from Gluten Free Frenzy – who makes regular visits on a popular TV show to talk about gluten-free food regularly. There’s the support group leaders in both Phoenix and the East Valley who consistently have many people come to talk about living the gluten-free lifestyle. And then there’s Jewel’s Bakery and Cafe and Gluten Free Creations, safe eating spots for everyone in my hood to come, eat a donut and dine without cares. These things make me have faith in my own community and that Phoenix can one day be as big of a hotspot as some of these other cities. Phoenix, I love you. It’s time to step up your game!
I was so ready to have GFAF Expo in Phoenix, but since I was stuck at my booth most of the day, I wanted to show off some shots of the event!
Sunday was a very special day because we had an appearance from the Gluten Free Fairy! She came and hung out with some of our favorite vendors and friends, and even snuck in a photoshoot at the Enjoy Life Foods photobooth. You know her, she loves attention!
PS she totally made a baby cry. Remind her of that next time you see her.
^ PS if you haven’t tried Way Better Snacks sweet chili, you’re doing it wrong! These sprouted chips taste like better versions of Doritos!
I even got a chance to visit the Enjoy Life Foods photo booth! I even got a chance to see the Dark Chocolate Chips in person (after I ate my entire sample bags within a few days). PS these are a must buy (click on the photo to learn more about them)!
One of my favorite gluten-free brands was there – Red Apple Lipstick. Obviously, I am a super fan of their products. It’s now the only make-up I wear! They have so many new colors that I can’t even keep up! Can I just have them all please? Thanks. A gluten-free make-up wonderland!
Several awesome gluten-free GFFs were there taking a walk around the expo hall and checking out the new goodies. One of them is our friend Alysa from InspiredRD!
Luckily, we were also across the way from Bakery on Main, which means I snuck some extra Blueberry instant oatmeal home with me! THANKS BOM!
It was so awesome for Jen and team to invite me to talk about something at the GFAF Expo in my hometown. I decided to literally take a chapter from my own book and blow it out into a presentation. I think I did an awesome job – only from the feedback in the post-presentation breakdown, but I also bombed at some jokes too (can’t win ‘em all). Thanks for letting me come party at the expo!
You can watch the entire presentation here. It was MUCH more exciting actually in the presentation room, but still – it’s the education that counts.
Overall, I’m so happy that everyone in my hometown finally got to experience a national-based gluten-free tour/expo. We Phoenicians need to remember that there’s a giant gluten-free universe out there, with brands that really do care about meeting their customers and making the world a better place that’s safe for celiacs! Thanks to all my vendor friends and EXTRA HUGE MEGA THANK YOU to everyone who came to hear me talk, bought one of my t-shirts, or bought my book or just came by to tell me that you read my blog. I can’t thank you guys enough!