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Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event

My whole life changed (for maybe the billionth time) on November 3, 2017.

I had watched my son graduate from his Army AIT training the day before and traveled back from SC only to wake up with my entire face so swollen it looked as though I could burst at any moment.. the pain was real. I had done some blood work at the docs a few weeks earlier and we had not gotten the results so my husband drove me straight to the doc that day to demand some answers. I was told a few tests needed to be redone but the one thing she knew for sure is no more gluten... I blogged about it here. Before you ask, no I have not found out if it's Celiac, Lupus or anything else, even though the doctor seemed concerned about Celiac. Insurance issues. Yay life...

The last year has been a huge journey. Figuring out that EVERY little thing matters. Cross-contamination is real (if you don't change your gloves I will have a reaction), almost everything has gluten in it from shampoo to sausage and you often feel like a jerk being the "difficult" one of your friends with a pain in the butt allergy most of the time, no matter how often they tell you it's ok.

Recently we found out the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event was coming to Jacksonville. I had yet to hear about anything like this coming here and was ecstatic. We quickly reached out on behalf of Salted Culture and were sent press/blogger passes to attend the event. Funny enough it was held on November 3, 2018. A year to the date of my diagnosis... Sign?


My husband has been INCREDIBLY supportive of this journey. Our bedroom is a gluten-free zone. He often chooses the GF version of meals to be supportive of me and those rare times he eats gluten, he has created an incredible sanitizing system for himself. Of course we host Salted Culture together but I genuinely think he was excited about this event as he is a health conscious eater as well.. I mean he is a body builder and all. 

The GFAF Wellness Event was held at Aloft on Southside Blvd. It was our first time at an event held at this location and we were impressed. Hubby had seen their lobby, I had not, and as you can see it is a beautiful venue from the start. My understanding is they also have an outdoor saltwater pool which I do plan to check out at some point. We definitely need to get a room there one evening for a little "staycation". Doors opened at 10am, we got there only a few minutes afterwards and the place was already filled with people. There were about two dozen vendors and each one had very educated people who were great to talk with not only about the products but the importance of such a great event. Many had yummy treats available to try (ALL OF THEM SAFE FOR ME!!!) and many had a few to take home.







We were handed boxes and bags of chips, cookies, cake mix, and other things that don't start with a c. Fortunately we also got some swag bags to take with us that had full size versions of many products for us to test out. Have I mentioned how much I love scoring swag to blog about? A few of the vendors were also speakers and we really enjoyed listening to Allergic Traveler discuss her allergy discoveries and how she came up with the idea for her awesome allergy card.










We really enjoyed meeting vendors from all over that specialize in making sure their products are free of most allergens and even grabbed a few spices from Fresh Jax for our kitchen, which I am now obsessed with. There is a certain excitement that comes from being able to whip out a spice and use it knowing there is nothing hidden inside.

This event is national and she travels all over helping people like me connect with businesses like this which is absolutely needed. I am thankful as I know that it may be hard to be gluten-free now but it has come so far. Check her page to see when they'll be in a city near you, get out and check it out even if you don't have allergies and learn a little something today.

~ Kris 



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