I attended my first Appetite for Awareness event in October of 2010, right after I got my celiac diagnosis. I blogged about it here: http://www.clairebakerok.com/1/post/2010/10/gluten-free-glutton.html. I'm afraid I didn't have much restraint or pace myself very well then. I don't want to leave this year's event feeling like I have to wear my stretchy pants for the next week. Because this is is a definite must-attend festival, I thought I'd offer some tips to the uninitiated for having the best day possible.
1) Have a plan. There is a LOT of food there: restaurants have their standard menu items, product reps have samples of packaged items, bakeries bring cupcakes and cakes and cookies galore. I haven't quite decided my approach, but I will either: a) focus on the fare offered by restaurants I want to try, b) find the best pizza in the place, or c) find the best sweets in the place. NOT ALL THREE. I swear.
2) Go hungry. Think of it as brunch on gay time. Or maybe just have a light breakfast so that you aren't so hungry when you get there that you blow your plan.
3) Don't bring home samples of food that you will regret having in your house later. Or just get ONE sample pack to SAMPLE, not to stock your pantry with. As a rule, gluten-free packaged foods are NOT health foods.
4) Plan on salad for dinner if you have any desire to eat when you get home.
5) Take time to appreciate that just about everybody there gets it. That just doesn't happen very often.
6) Use SEPTA to get there and back. Save yourself the driving and parking hassle. You'll have a big tote bag of stuff when you leave and you can use your train ride time to check it out. Or you can rest your eyes and be filled with the warmth of a 100% gluten-free belly.
7) Remember to patronize the restaurants and vendors who supported the event throughout the year. The more it pays for them, the more other restaurants will notice and hopefully fall in line.
There are probably more tips, but that's a good start. Have fun, go home full but not feeling gross. See you there!
Join me on my free, fun and interactive happy gluten-free webinar to get the facts about who benefits by going gluten-free, strategies to avoid it, and how to get the support you need.
September 27, 9 pm
Can't make that time? Register anyway and I'll let you know how to get access to the replay.