Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My 1st Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) Conference & Expo

I attended my 1st CDF Conference and Expo this past weekend in sunny Pasadena, California.         It was a lovely event full of information, wonderful people and delicious gluten-free food. 

Some Highlights:

  • Saturday morning was kicked off with a great line-up of speakers. Starting with Dr. Alessio Fasano. When speaking about celiac disease, he always finds a way to make the audience laugh, even referring to his book, “Gluten-Freedom” as a romance novel. ;) I’m reading his book now and appreciate him writing a book that’s filled with EVERYTHING you need to know about celiac disease and gluten-free living. I remember him saying, “The gluten-free diet for celiacs is like insulin for those who are diabetic.” When it comes to explaining celiac disease to someone, I think using that quote, may just make it a little simpler for some folks to grasp how important gluten-free living is for celiacs. Another important relation from Dr. Fasano speaking is that a majority of the audience learned about the gluten-free diet on their own...doctors are diagnosing celiacs, but not giving them information about gluten-free living - doesn’t really make sense. 
  • Lab Corp discussed genetic testing. DQ2 and DQ8. Still very confusing if you ask me...all I know, is my husband got the double whammy                        (DQ2 Homogyzous).
  • Quest Diagnostics has brought celiacanswers.com to life which provides information about celiac disease and getting tested. They also put together a great video
  • Dr. Adelman discussed a trial drug called ALV003. Encouraging those with celiac disease to participate in clinical studies which will help pharmaceuticals further advance and may one day be available for those with celiac disease.
  • Dr. John Zone discussed the affects and myths of celiac disease and gluten-free living when it comes to our skin. “Gliadin/Gluten should not go through the skin, unless there's a break in the skin.” Lipstick on the other hand, should be gluten-free. He continued to discuss other skin conditions like psoriasis, hives and their association with gluten.
  • Pamela Cureton, RD discussed possible reasons while one may still have problems on the gluten-free diet - possible cross contamination...also discussed other nutritional problems while eating gluten-free - lactose intolerance, constipation, fermentable sugars, etc. Reasons for weight gain on gluten-free diet: your body is finally absorbing nutrients! And remember, "a gluten-free brownie is just as bad as a gluten brownie."
  • Resnick Family - Peter and Rhonda Resnick shared their daughter's story and the emotional stress celiac disease can cause one's family as well as the individual facing this chronic disease. The Resnick Family has started an initiative "to effectively provide youth and their families with the skills necessary to cope with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders."
  • The Reigning Queens of Gluten-Free - including Danna Korn - Gluten-Free Guru and Author, Pamela Giusto-Sorrells - Founder of Pamela's Products, Lucy Gibey, Founder of Lucy's and Rachel Berliner, Co-Founder of Amy's Kitchen. They each shared their personal stories with us...I loved it! And I was finally able to meet Danna Korn and see Pamela (my fav person) again!! 
Reigning Queens of Gluten-Free - Pamela, Lucy, Rachel and Danna 
  • Pamela and Me - She's fabulous! It was great seeing her again. She is more than happy to talk to you about her products and any questions you have about baking. 
  • EXPO - the expo immediately followed the conference and I had the opportunity to try some new products. No matter how often you go to different expos, there's ALWAYS something new to try! I LOVED the Brazi Bites - chewy, doughy little round bites of bread!! How can I get them to the Midwest?! They were DELICIOUS!! 
  • PASCHA Chocolate - Lookey what I WON!! CDF was selling raffle tickets and I bought a few and I won LOTS of organic, dark chocolate yumminess! PASCHA is delicious! Free of peanuts, nuts, dairy, soy, egg, wheat & gluten.
  • I ended the evening with some awesome gaucamole (I mean awesome) and great conversation with these ladies, Whitney and Carling from Bakery on Main. My hubby loves their granola bars and snacks! 
  • I had to head home Sunday morning, but the CDF team was gearing up for another busy day at the expo! I'm always so grateful for all the samples I get to bring home to my family. Thank you vendors for your generosity!
WHOA - some serious SWAG!
Overall, a fabulous experience and I'm looking forward to next year already!! Hopefully next year, we can manage for both myself and my husband to attend - I think he would enjoy it as well.

Thank you Celiac Disease Foundation for all your hard work and dedication to raising awareness and making a difference in the celiac community.

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