You might have seen me talk about FACCWDW all over my social media the last month, but did you know that originally I wasn’t going to go? I have a total fear of flying – which is crazy because I fly so often for Celiac and the Beast. But I do! So, being stuck on a plane for 6 hours isn’t really top on my list of things to do. But earlier this year, I went to Hawaii for Disney, and it only seemed fitting that I would spend the end of the year back at a Disney property too. So, I decided to put on my big girl panties and go.
And yes, I had a panic attack on the plane. But that’s why I was prescribed Xanax by a medical professional for situational anxiety – specifically for flying. And I learned that I stopped needing to play strong. I can’t do it all by myself all of the time. If my body has anxiety, then I have no problem taking the medication that was prescribed to me by a professional. I can’t be strong all the time. Even when Mickey Mouse is on my side. And I have to be okay with that.
But I survived. I will always survive. I will fight anxiety for the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that, because I have the tools to cope. And I can fly across the country whenever I want to – because I am the boss of me. But back to Disney….
I was very fortunate to get to go to FACCWDW! The first (and hopefully not last!) Food Allergy and Celiac Convention was hosted by two individuals with extensive knowledge about celiac and food allergies: Laurie Sadowski (lauriesadowski.com) and Sarah Norris (glutenfreedairyfreewdw.com). On top of these two ladies, there was a whole lot of volunteers that made the weekend possible. There were also some great sponsors and vendors. All and all – a great time, and I’m happy that Orlando-ites got a chance to experience a gluten-free event of this size. And I was happy to cross Orlando off my list of cities to see. Let’s talk about some of the awesome things that happened at the event!
Okay, so real talk – at first I thought SunButter was gross. It’s taken me a year to acclimate to the taste. And now I can’t get enough of it. Now I don’t like almond butter or peanut butter. But it’s becoming a problem. Why? Because now I can’t find their new no-sugar-added version of SunButter in Arizona yet (click on this link and you can purchase it on Amazon.com – including the 5 lb. bucket you see below). Luckily, the team was there to give me a special package of love – and of no-sugar-added SunButter. I love this brand. SO happy to become a better friend and branded partner with them.
Because I didn’t get enough of these in Hawaii at Disney Aulani. These are gluten-free and dairy-free and egg-free and yes, I know that it’s eating Mickey’s face BUT I DON’T CARE. And I only got one, and I’m still sad about that. From now on, I shall live through GF in Orlando (Alexis) photos of the waffles on Instagram.
ENJOY LIFE FOODS
Of course my BFFs from Enjoy Life Foods were there. They even came with a revolving CHOCOLATE CHIP DISPENSER!!! DID YOU READ THAT?!?!? I might install one in my new house.
I had a chance to give some blogger tips of the trade to a young Enjoy Life Foods Junior Reporter. Cole was a champ – and needed practically no training to rock the ELF mic! Check out how awesome he looks – especially in the Disney mouse ears!
I also got another chance to hear Joel Warady (the ELF CMO) talk about “From Start to Cart” – a presentation about how to manage allergens in production, manufacturing, and marketing! I love hearing him talk, but he’s also just a great guy. Here’s a candid shot of him talking to an adorable young lad about how they make Plentils.
Thanks to ELF for letting me help represent their brand and be a part of the Junior Reporter contest at FACCWDW! I can’t wait for my next Enjoy Life Foods adventure (PS you can RSVP to our Twitter Party with ELF on 12/3 HERE and win ELF products).
Our friends at GF Harvest were a sponsor of the event – sponsoring the morning breakfast with a live-action oatmeal bar (live action oatmeal is more exciting than just regular oatmeal). I’m glad they had a chance to introduce their awesome GF oatmeal breakfast cups to the Orlando market!
Dr. Anne had another great presentation to a large audience. And of course – they showed off their awesome graham crackers with some s’mores! Life is good with Schar gluten-free products!
I had no idea what this brand was based on name alone. It turns out that it is a paleo company – and their breads are really good! You should check them out online – might I recommend the pumpkin or the sandwich bread!
I FINALLY got a chance to try BabyCakes products. I was super impressed with all the stuff the DTD location brought to sell at the event – but I do wish they sampled too so I could try before I buy (in bulk typically). I purchased a dairy-free gluten-free cinnamon roll. I was a little disappointed, mostly because I built up my BabyCakes experience so much. But I totally ruined it by waiting for a day to eat it – I should have ate it right away. And I should have had one with icing. I think I need to buy more of their stuff online and try it out to get a real judgement of the brand.
It was SO great to finally meet Sarah and Laurie in real life. Please please please support these ladies and their blogs/businesses. If you know what it takes to put on a large event like this, you know how many hugs and high fives they deserve!
I also got to meet Alexis at GF in Orlando and I adore this lady! I wish I lived closer and could spend more time with her. King Gluten Free is pretty much my new Canadian best friend. He is so awesome, and we’re seriously brothers from another mother – or however that saying goes. Taylor from Gluten Away and his mom came to the event too! I feel like I already know all these people so well, but it is SO good to put an actually body (not just an avatar) with a Twitter handle or Instagram feed.
EPIC GLUTEN-FREE BLOGGER HUG INSERTED HERE!
As always, I took home some extra swag for you guys! Would you like to win some? Follow the instructions/terms & conditions of the Rafflecopter below!