May is Celiac Awareness Month.

I have been sharing information on my facebook page but have yet to write anything and decided it was time. And stick around because I have some fun stuff regarding the upcoming gluten free expo in Glendale, AZ.

Things I want people to realize about celiac disease:

  1. It’s a disease, not an allergy. Specifically, an autoimmune disease.
  2. I have to eat gluten free. It’s not a choice. It’s not fun and it doesn’t “cure” me. I will always have celiac disease.
  3. There are all kinds of symptoms but you will never see them. All of my symptoms are invisible and not necessarily digestive related. Migraines. Brain fog. Depression.

Things I want restaurants to realize:

  1. I like having choices.
  2. I don’t want a salad. Or a vegan dish.
  3. Labeling something gluten free and then frying it in the same oil/fryer does not make it gluten free. Please do not list it as such.
  4. I like having a menu. Please make a section, separate menu, or even just a symbol is helpful. I don’t feel comfortable when I have to rely on waitstaff to go, “uh, um… well we can make anything gluten free”. No, I want specifics. I want something to look at.
  5. Ice cream is not a go out to eat desert. Creme brulee gets old. Please try for some new desert ideas.

We aren’t being picky. Our health & well-being is on the line.

People with celiac disease just want to be able to go out to eat or on vacation and have choices. We want to order off a menu. We want people to understand this isn’t a choice. I am sure I am missing some points but these are the most common I encounter. What do you want people or restaurants to know? Let me know in the comments!

celiac awarenessThe gluten free expo is coming back to Glendale, Arizona June 24th, and 25th!

And I again have the honor to be an event blogger. I attended last year as a blogger and it was such a great experience. I had not been able to attend a gluten-free expo before and it did not disappoint. I loved being able to sample everything, and boy did I sample it all. I even went back to a few places twice.

If you haven’t been to an expo, I highly suggest going to one. I came home with coupons galore and plenty of food products. I left with an apple and coconut water from Sprouts. I had a loaf of bread, a bag of pretzels, and a box of cookies from Udi’s/Glutino, the main sponsors. Those were just the full-size products. I ended up with a lot more sample/single-serve size goodies.

I discovered new brands. I had eaten at Spinato’s previously but had not tried their grocery story products. I now buy their frozen pizzas at my local Fry’s store. I just wish they had more than three varieties because it is sooooo good! I also discovered the fun brand, ProYo. I pretty much stalked their booth. Their frozen yogurt is tasty and protein, which I always need more of!

If you have not been to an expo, I strongly encourage you to go! And I have several ways for you to go!

First off, I have five free tickets to giveaway! If you want a chance at a free ticket, leave me a comment of why you want to go! Please be local to the Phoenix area or willing to get to the Renaissance in Westgate if you are outside of Phoenix. The free ticket is good for one day of the event. I will select and contact winners with further details at the end of May. 

If you don’t win tickets, you can still get 20-30% off tickets with my affiliate link and code. Please note I do make a small kickback from my affiliate link. Click here to purchase tickets. To receive 30% off purchase between now and May 23rd and use code EARLYBIRD. To receive 20% off purchase between 5/24 and 6/23 and use code ADVANCE.

I look forward to seeing you at the expo. Be sure to say hi if you see me stuffing my face. If you aren’t local or can’t make it to the expo, follow along on social media. The official hashtag is #GFAFExpo. Be sure to like and follow the official expo Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

I will be live posting to my Instagram and Twitter so be sure to follow those accounts!

Categories: Gluten Free


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.