Friday, October 21, 2011

Gluten-free Living Now Expo Carmel, Indiana

This past month, I was honored to participate in the Gluten-Free Living Now Expo in Carmel, Indiana. Gluten Free Living Now, Ltd. is the work of a gluten intolerant nurse, Shelia, and a mother of a Celiac child, Tina. They shared similar struggles and challenges and from these trials a passion was created. These two women came together to build a non-profit organization with a mission to build, support, and enhance the gluten-free community.  This passion led to an organization that provides lifestyle advice, food for low income families in need for gluten-free items, educational resources and a future goal of a gluten-free camp for kids! This Expo was an accumulation of all their work since the inception of their organization and it was the largest gluten-free event in Indiana to date!
 I had an amazing time speaking with all those who visited! I even had the opportunity to use that expensive master's degree in nursing I paid for and give lectures. One was "How to Make Your Household Gluten-free" and the other was "Autoimmune Diseases and Other Conditions Associated with Celiac Disease". 

I had a blast meeting everyone and I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with the amazing people from the Center for Celiac Research. They let me hang with them at their table and I was honored. Their group and their lead physician, Dr. Fasano, have done more in the field of Celiac Disease than any other organization. Dr. Fasano and his team were the ones who discovered the blood test for gluten testing (among many other amazing things)! Currently they are partnering with the Autistic research community to see how a gluten-free and casein-free diet would help children affected with the disorder.
Dr. Fasano during one of his lectures at the Expo
I also was lucky enough to watch him interview at Channel 8 as well! He has a great team surrounding him and I was blessed to have the opportunity to tag along with them! For more information on their great work visit
Dr. Fasano speaking on the connection between Celiac Disease and Autism
 I was also to meet a few amazing women who are heroes in their own right in the gluten-free world. Ann Whelan, creator and editor of the first Gluten-free magazine, Gluten-free Living Magazine. Ann, was diagnosed with Celiac disease 18 years ago. She received a Master's in journalism from Temple University and a BA in English literature from Hunter College. Ann brings together her first-hand knowledge of Celiac disease and extensive experience in journalism and publishing. She has worked for health-related magazines, helping to launch five publications before she founded Gluten-Free Living. Ann's magazine was the first one I found when I was diagnosed and it is people like her who have already created an easier path to travel in dealing with Celiac Disease. Gluten-Free Living Magazine is a leader in providing practical, reliable information about the gluten-free diet.
Ann Whelan and Chef Rob talking at the Expo
I was also honored to meet Sueson Vess. Sueson has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and  has other food allergies as well. She created her company, Special Eats to assist others on the healthy path toward embracing gluten and dairy free living.  She is an amazing cook and has many cookbooks that she has worked on to ease the struggle of those dealing with multiple food intolerances. Sueson was kind enough to offer me a copy of her fabulous book, Gluten-free and Dairy-free Cooking.
 My favorite part of the whole experience though? The amazing memories I will cherish as I continue to raise awareness for Celiac Disease!

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