Raleigh GFAF Wellness Event Recap Part 2

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Raleigh GFAF Wellness Event as a part of the blogger team. You can read my review of the blogger dinner at Primal Food & Spirits here, and the first part of my event recap here.


In my previous post, I talked about all the old friends I got to catch up with at the event. In this post, I want to highlight some of the products and people that I saw for the first time this weekend. There were a bunch of great products (many of them local) that I discovered, and I am SO excited to be able to share those with you now:

Bruks Bars

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These bars, whose production is based in Charlotte (represent!), were created by Brooke and Sean Muldoon in their search for a nutrition bar that fit their needs (gluten, dairy, soy and egg-free). Their goal to make a bar meeting those standards and still being packed with flavor was definitely met if you asked me. There are four flavors total, two of which I could eat – apricot chocolate and cherry espresso. I got to sample the latter and wow was it good! The balance of flavors was spot-on, and each bar has 17 mg of caffeine from the espresso and chocolate – perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up! I’m sad that these aren’t sold anywhere in Raleigh, but I definitely plan on stocking up next time I’m back home in Charlotte. It can’t happen soon enough!

Caly’s Kitchen

I’m always excited to find new GF products, and even moreso when they are corn-free as well. Most of the gluten-free baking mixes at stores have corn products in them and are full of junk (yuck), so you can imagine how excited I was to find some that I could eat! The brand started 6 months ago so it’s new to the scene. I can already tell that it will be a hit. After talking to Sarah for a bit about her products and how she got started, she was nice enough to run after me and give me a bag of chocolate chip cookie mix to sample. In addition to the products I received in my blogger bag. Allergy expo people are seriously the nicest people you will ever meet. I’ll probably be reviewing these products later in the fall, so stay tuned!

JP’s Pastries

Coconut Scone
Coconut Scone

This is a baking company that is local to Raleigh(!!!). Everything in their display looked fantastic, so I honestly didn’t think that anything would be gluten, dairy, AND corn-free. But, whaddya know, they had 4 vegan options available so there were a few things I could try! The cupcake had maltodextrin so I wasn’t able to have that one, but after hearing about my many allergies, the owner, JP, gave me all three products that I could eat. Seriously, how sweet is that (no pun intended haha)? It made my day. Also, the past three days that I’ve been eating those products (a brownie, a coconut scone, and pound cake). I’ve always wanted to try a scone, and I love coconut, so the whole situation was a win-win. I will definitely be making a trip multiple Friday trips to Cafe de los Muertos to buy these products again. Thanks, JP!!

Erin, the coordinator's awesome daughter
Erin, the coordinator’s awesome daughter

Kalo Foods

I’d actually heard of this brand before because we sampled some of their products at my job. They went over well with the other nutrition employees, so I made a point to go to the booth. What I didn’t know is that they have two baking  mixes that are safe for me to eat! (The prepared products have dairy) Be on the look out for a review of those later this fall as well. Can’t wait!

Raleigh Raw

A juice bar in Raleigh that delivers! Four of the juices were apple-free. One of them had dandelion, which was interesting! Also, now that I’m writing this, I just remembered that I have a bottle of that one in the fridge. Score! My favorite was probably the one with coconut in it, but all four were good.

Nat and Lydia from Girls Gone Gluten-Free

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I met these two lovely ladies at the blogger dinner on Friday. If you’re not familiar with them, they are the creators of the blog Girls Gone Gluten-Free and are based in Wilmington, NC – only a couple hours away. We bonded over our mutual gluten and dairy-freeness, and me recognizing Lydia from the awesome pants she wore at the GFAF Expo in Atlanta back in April (classic Kathleen haha). I absolutely love their blog, their style and their sense of humor. Be sure to check them out!

Meg from Gluten-Free Boulangerie

Meg is another one of the bloggers I met at the dinner on Friday. I just think she is so cool because she is a food scientist and, as a fellow science geek myself, I get way to interested in hearing about the science behind food allergies and the gluten-free lifestyle. She presented on cooking without gums and binders, and how we can look at heirloom recipe techniques to achieve different textures and consistencies in gluten-free baking. I have a ton of respect for what she does, especially since I eventually want to incorporate more scientific blog posts on this website.

I feel like I could go on and on about this past weekend, the products I tried, and the people I met, but I think these past few posts have summed all of that up pretty nicely. Going to these things reminds me why I love what I do, and it makes me so happy to know that there are so many people out there dedicated to providing awareness and support to fellow food-allergic individuals. I just hope that one day, I can make the same difference in someone’s life as well!

Xoxo

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