No matter how many times we do the Living Free Expo, we are always learning something new. I appreciate the fact that the food allergy community is ever changing. More and more companies are entering our world, thus making it more competitive but also bringing more awareness to the food allergy community. Just when you think you have seen it all, poof there’s a surprise! Sometimes good ones and sometimes bad ones, its really all a question of taste. Taste being the operative word. At this year’s Living Free Expo in Charlotte, their seemed to be more food vendors than ever. Products ranged from pastries to jams, chips to salad dressings, supplements to lotions, and cleaning products to chiropractors. Whether you had food allergies or not, you would be hard pressed to find something that did not catch your attention.
The learning portion of the show consisted either of the new products being introduced or it came from the speakers that were sharing their knowledge on their area of expertise. For instance, Dr. Akiba Green with Lake Norman Health & Wellness, spoke about how to heal from auto immune disease or Jennifer Cuevas with The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet, spoke (remotely) about the Keto and Paleo diet. Allergic Traveler presented, on Traveling with Food Allergies, with new insights we added since our last presentation. It is always a great time for us as we learn from the audience and share our adventures.
Who was there?
Here are a few of the takeaways that I learned at the show.
Bare Foods – their products are made with organic Stevia – yes It makes a difference.
Dolci di Maria – new product introduced Raspberry brownie
Gigi’s cupcakes – are more than just football players! They have gluten free cupcakes.
JPs Pastry – they introduced egg free, gluten free red velvet cake.
Flax 4 Life – sells their product for the same price to the little guys as the big nationwide stores.
Norm’s Farms – their elderberry potion can be added to water or be taken straight. The benefits of elderberry have almost triple the benefits of blackberries.
Reason to Bake – is committed to hiring intellectually disabled adults
Rustic Roots – portion of their proceeds go to local food bank.
Southern Olive Store – not only are their products gluten free but they are corn free too!
Swerve – has zero calories per gram and doesn’t include xylitol.
I told you it was all about food! At least it felt that way! There were so many others that I could not get through them all. What was the favorite thing that you learned about?
Here are other vendors that were there that I did not get a chance to speak with:
Arbonne, Beverly’s Gourmet Foods, Brain Balance Centers, Brasstown Chocolate, Bruce Julian Heritage Foods, Burton’s Grill & Bar, Carolina Kettle Chips, Charlotte Gastroenterology & Hepatology, City BBQ, do Terra, Elite Water Systems, Enjoy Life Foods, Gluten Free Spirited, Grabbagreen, Healthmax Center, HempWorx, Inspire Family Healthy, Isagenix, Juice Plus, King Arthur Flour, Kitchencraft Cookware, Lake Norman Health & Wellness, Northeast Digestive, Norwex, Organic Harvest Community Grocery & Café, Passanante’s Home Foods, Prime My Body, Providence Chiropractic, Pure Haven, Queen City Health Center, Simply Gluten Free Magazine and Spoon’s BBQ Food Truck, Tikka Buzz Food Truck, Tito’s Vodka, Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse, Wow Butter
Author: Tarah Jakubiak
After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 24 countries and 26 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.