Charlotte, NC GFAF Wellness Event Recap Part 2

As you know, I recently had the awesome opportunity to be a blogger team member for the Gluten and Allergy Free Wellness Event in Charlotte, NC. In my previous post, I talked about the delicious blogger dinner I went to the night before the expo. In this post, I wanted to highlight some of the awesome vendors/booths that I saw and enjoyed. So here ya go!

PS Website links are in the headings so you can check ’em out!

Saffron Road

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As a blogger, I was on a special list and got into the event 30 minutes early to start browsing and networking. My first stop was at the Saffron Road booth to visit my friend Angela, who I met at FACCWDW back in November. For those of you who haven’t heard of Saffron Road, they’re a great company whose products are all Non-GMO Project certified, Gluten Free, All Natural, Antibiotic-Free and Certified Halal. They have a wide variety of products, from curry sauces, to chicken pad thai meals, to chicken nuggets, and crunchy flavored chickpeas. These were the samples that were at the booth. I really liked the falafel ones, personally, but there’s a ton of different flavor options, including chipotle and Bombay curry. It was wonderful seeing Angela again – I love that I’ve been able to make good friends doing this kind of thing! If you happen to see a Saffron Road product at Harris Teeter or Whole Foods, definitely give it a try!

Artisan Tropic

Plantain chips for days!
Plantain chips for days!

This was my second stop, as it was right next to Saffron Road. Y’all, they had three – count ’em THREE – types of plantain chips. And you know how much I love plantains. Plus, they had cassava chips and dried fruit chips (one of which was coconut!!!). Everything was good, but of course I absolutely had to buy all of the plantain flavors and the cassava chips. Which ended up making the free hummus I got later extra awesome. I had such a great time talking to Maria and her parents, who founded the company. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this brand at stores.

Thrive Bites

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This is one of the companies I learned about on Friday night at dinner, and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard of. Basically, it’s a company that sells freeze-dried food without any preservatives. You can either eat the food dried, or rehydrate it, and add seasonings to make a real meal. They gave me a sample of their chicken salad, and it was incredible. Dried chicken, onions, grapes and lettuce rehydrated, then mixed with mayo and salt and pepper, and it tasted like it was made fresh. AND the food is shelf stable for one year if opened, and 25 years if unopened. So easy. So convenient. So economical. And still clean. I’m telling you, this concept is going to blow up pretty soon. It’s genius!

Nourish

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This is a local company that delivers plant-based and gluten-free food made from scratch. There were a couple of these companies at the event, but this one was by far my favorite. Their logo is so cute, and I loved their concept. And their butternut squash mac n cheeze casserole. I bought a container of it. Yep. Praise the Lord for nutritional yeast seasoning. Where would dairy-free people be without it?

Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet

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I met Jennifer back in November, so I was super pumped to see her again at this event. And she remembered me! This time, I was smart and made sure to reserve a box of her delicious chocolate chip cookies before they ran out. Those things are to die for. Jennifer is a Health Coach who also sells foods that are free of gluten, dairy, grains, and soy, but not flavor. She also gave a lecture on her journey to health, which was so inspiring. I love her philosophy and how she was able to completely turn her life around without all the medications that doctors are always throwing at people like us. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing her again at FACCWDW2!

Enjoy Life

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Enjoy Life, how I love you. If you’re up-to-date with the food allergy community, I’m sure you’re aware that Enjoy Life is awesome. Duh. But also, they’re putting out something like 72 products in the next 36 months (Is that right?) And a few of those products were unveiled at the recent GF Expo West out in California — BAKING MIXES. I reeeeeally hope they’re corn-free because I’d love to get my hands on some of those! I was sad that Carolyn and Joel weren’t at this event, but I got to talk to the ambassadors, Kacye and DeeDee, who were really friendly. This was the first company I found when I started being gluten free, and it’s still my favorite. PS all of the recipes on my blog that use chocolate chips feature Enjoy Life chocolate chips. The dark chocolate and mini chips are my go-to products and I’ll never use anything else!

Yodish

I met Sebastian at the blogger dinner on Friday, and recognized this app from the FACCWDW after he told me all about it! It’s a smartphone app that provides restaurant recommendations and sample menu items for people with special dietary needs. I will definitely be downloading this and trying it out.

Roots

This was like my lunch buffet. Roots is a Asheville-based hummus company that makes something like 8 flavors of hummus, all of which I could eat. My favorites were the Mango Sriracha, Thai Coconut Curry and Lima Bean. Actually, I liked all of them, but those were the ones that stood out the most. They’re sold at local Harris Teeters and Whole Foods so definitely check them out!

Turtle Island Preserve

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I met Desere after sitting next to her at the dinner on Friday. She has celiac, like many of the other people I met, but she also lives off the grid. No phones. No electricity. Etc. She lives up in the mountains and works at Turtle Island Preserve to teach others about living sustainably with the land. They grow their own produce, raise and butcher their own livestock, and even made their own oven from a repurposed barrel and clay. How cool is that?

Young Living Essential Oils

I’m so intrigued by this idea. I don’t even know what else to say but I’m definitely looking more into this after talking to someone who has experienced the benefits of using essential oils for healing.

 

Stay tuned for the third and final part of my recap, coming soon!

Xoxo

 

 

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