It’s hard to believe that just a short while ago, I was flying to Las Vegas to attend the 1st Annual Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. With my Enjoy Life Foods treats in tow, I was so excited for the upcoming festivities. Looking back now though, I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this conference was. It completely exceeded any expectations that I might have had and completely reinvigorated me!
This conference was the efforts of so many people but I can’t not write about this conference without acknowledging the masterminds behind the event: Jenny Sprague & Homa Woodrum. I also have to give a huge shout-out to Selena Bluntzer who not only was the first person to greet me at the conference (with a huge hug, I might add!) but also made it possible for me to attend. I won my registration through a giveaway on her site. She won a free conference ticket as the top fundraiser for the FARE walk and instead of getting a refund on her own ticket, she generously gave it away. How amazing is that?! So literally, without Selena’s generous contribution, I would not have been able to attend the event.
The conference was held at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and one of the primary reasons it was held there is that Chef Keith Norman who is dedicated to providing food allergy & intolerance safe meals for guests. He has so many awards & recognitions that it’s too many to list! Here’s a little bit about him on the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference website.
|Disney finds me, even when I’m not in Florida!|
And I have to say, in terms of food–this place did not disappoint. Not only did the hotel create menus for each of their restaurants (and there are many!) that were free of the top 8 common allergens, but they also created terrific food for the conference itself. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to be able to eat a meal at a conference! As someone who goes to a lot of them for work, this was a huge deal. (No joke, I went to a conference once and they offered me just lettuce!). Here are some highlights of the food:
|Breakfast options including: Udi’s Blueberry muffin, Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal, and Namaste waffles (of course, they’d be better if they were Mickey shaped!)|
|Lunch included: Grilled chicken with papaya salad, rice and beans|
|Peach Melba dessert with non-dairy whipped cream|
These were just a few of the tasty treats we had during the conference. Let’s just say I definitely made sure to eat really well the 2 1/2 days I was there!
One of the great parts of this conference were the sessions. Wow! I learned so much. From a terrific opening session with Joel Warady from Enjoy Life Foods, Annelies Zijderveld from Attune Foods (I have to thank her now for my Buckwheat & Hemp cereal addiction), and Tess Masters from The Blender Girl to the eye opening sessions on advocacy & awareness–I learned a lot! I wish I could devote a whole post to each session I attended.
Perhaps my most favorite part of the conference was meeting other people like me. People who have a special diet because of allergies, intolerances, or other health reasons–each person was so amazing. It was just so nice to be a part of a group of people who live each day just like me. And it was awe inspiring to hear their stories and why they blog or advocate for their families. This to me just made this conference. I made so many amazing new friends!
Here are a few friends who’s sites I would recommend that you check out!
- Kate, The Diary of Ana Phylaxis (stay tuned for some things she, Amy, and I are cooking up!)
- Amy, Adventures of an Allergic Foodie
- Jessica, Food Allergy Sleuth
- Kim, The Cheeky Celiac
- Alisa, Go Dairy Free
- Justin, YoDish
- Connie, Daily Forage
- Rebecca, Pure and Peanut Free
- Rachel, Mom vs. Food Allergy
And soooo many more! This was just the most friendly & welcoming group of people I’ve ever met at a conference, and I’m so excited for next year’s event!
Overall, I just can’t say enough great things about this conference. I feel re-invigorated after this event, and just ready to continue bringing more awareness to special diets! Thank you again to Jenny & Homa for organizing this amazing event. Until 2014!!
|That’s a lot of swag!|
For more information about this conference, you can visit: Food Allergy Bloggers Conference website