The Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center is all about getting and keeping kids healthy and is hosting the second-annual DC Gluten-Free Expo this afternoon and evening at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 1201 K Street NW from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. If I’d eliminated gluten from my diet as a child, my health as an adult would have been much more robust, I believe.
For one thing, when your gut is damaged by something your body can’t tolerate, it affects your entire body. You can’t absorb nutrients, you’re prone to inflammation, and, in many cases, you might have mood and neurological symptoms.
But back in the 1970s and 80s, I would not have had access to so many options for gluten-free eating. Regular readers know that I’ve been (by necessity) in the grain-free camp on the starch-free GAPS diet for over a year now and that I’m in favor of making nutrient-dense food at home whenever possible. There is nothing out of a box or package that I can eat these days without consequences, and I do try to feed my kids homemade bone broth with every meal; veggies out of our garden; fruit from the farmers market; and pastured eggs, real milk, and meat from the Amish farmer who delivers to our area. When there’s a birthday party or other special event, I try to make my own gluten-free (and low-sugar!) cakes and muffins for my kids.
But it is great to have options. And the second annual DC Gluten-Free Expo is full of them! In fact, there will be more than 60 companies from around the world showcasing their GF wares.
Last year I left the kids behind when I went to the first-ever expo, but I’m so excited to take my son this year and let him see that there are a whole lot of other people who also need to avoid gluten and who manage just fine. He’s never been much of a complainer about eating differently, but it’s always nice to feel like you’re not alone. We’re about to eliminate dairy for a while on the advice of our doctor, so that will make things a little tougher. I’m excited that we have this event to make him feel both special and normal at the same time! An added bonus will be if we get to see racecar driver Dane Moxlow, and, who knows, maybe little E will get a kick out of seeing Mrs. America Shannon Ford, too.
I’m excited that I’ll be sporting a bag from Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, expo sponsor and maker of my son’s favorite GF buns (which we got a few coupons for as well!). Thanks, Rudi’s!
Rudi’s is offering to one lucky Crunchy-Chewy Mama reader a giveaway that includes the company’s new GF tortillas, a Rudi’s GF t-shirt and magnet, a tortilla press and a GF cookbook.
Also, for just another hour, Vanessa Weisbrod of the beautiful Delight Gluten-Free magazine, another expo sponsor, is offering four free tickets to the expo.
To enter the expo giveaway, time is of the essence! Comment below by noon today so I can send the winners’ names to the organizers. Tell me something about your experience with gluten-free eating and indicate how many tickets you’d need. I will draw randomly but will do more than one winner if the entrant only needs one or two tickets each.
To enter the Rudi’s giveaway, you have until NEXT Friday, June 22 at midnight. Comment below about your gluten-free journey. For an additional entry, comment on my Facebook page, too.