The Allergy and Free From show, being in the hustle-bustle and busyness of being in an environment of people who know your struggle is an *amazing* experience.
Not being fearful of asking “Is it gluten free and dairy free?” was liberating, checking every ingredient in a product and not being judged was a joy and being in a place where we sample different types of gluten free breads and freely ask if it is also wheat free was great.
I have attended the show every year for the past 4 – 5 years after learning about my own intolerances and my son having a milk allergy. And I love it every year. I live less than an hour away from the venue in London so for me, it’s fairly easy to get to.
How My Day Started
My day started with collecting a printed version of my e-ticket with a lanyard making it official. As I registered my ticket as a blogger, I had a ticket that labelled me as an ‘influencer’. I am liking this title already. I even had someone for a radio station ask me what an influencer was.
My Answer – A person who influences others in all kinds of ways.
I then had to explain that I was a blogger. Which made more sense to him.
Going back to the point of what happened, I saw a queue of people going into Schar and as British as this sounds, I joined the queue having no clue what the purpose of the queue was for. To make matters worse, the person ahead of me also did not know the purpose of the queue but also joined. We were all hoping to get something for FREE and we did. The only product they had which was gluten and dairy free were their mini dippers (which are lovely by the way).
The Allergy and Free From Show usually has 3 shows in one. They run workshops that focuses on health and wellbeing and even have an area for children. They also run cooking workshops and self empowerment sessions so it is a valuable day well spent for you to attend.
So if you are interested in going then I’ve provided tips to help you make the most out of the day. Yes I said ‘day’, you’ll be there all day and you don’t have to worry about lunch because you can have a feast from all the free samples provided.
Pick up a show guide at the entrance
Always pick up a guide and spend a few minutes planning your day. Doing this simple task will save you time and also give you an overview of everything that is happening. I was able to attend a kids puppet show and a women empowerment show and collected all the freebies I could get.
Dedicate a whole day or two
Attending a show like this will require you to give yourself all the time you need to be able to explore and get the most out of it. There are stall upon stalls to check out and if you are someone with intolerances and allergies then you will be in your food heaven. If you also want to attend the workshops then it is best to attend over two days.
Don’t assume everything meets your dietary requirements.
Different vendors, provide products to meet the need for specific dietary needs. For example, a lot of products may be gluten free but not dairy free. Or Gluten and dairy free but not Low Fodmap. Or all the requirements provided but not nut free so always ask before trying.
Some vendors even provide samples of their sauces with pita bread (Gluten filled PITA BREAD). Shocking, but my point is it that you always ask before you try.
Always ask for a sample, coupon or voucher
My personal aim when attending this show is to discover new products and try products I will usually never come across. A lot of the stalls you come across represent small start-up companies using the show to launch their product(s) and increase brand recognition within the community. But there are also well known brands who are giving away their products.
Check the ingredients
Always check the ingredients in the products vendors are selling, because it is an allergy show doesn’t mean that the ingredients are good for you. There was a stand selling organic chocolate spread, the packaging looked great, the branding was amazing but the first ingredient was Sugar then cocoa powder which meant there was no real chocolate in the product and something being labelled organic doesn’t always mean it is good for you. To make matters worse, they were selling 300g jar for £5. Unbelivable.
Attend the Allergy Show workshops
Attend the workshops and sessions that are available. They are useful, insightful and free!
Have fun and make the most out of the day
Enjoy your day and try new products, also be open to probably having a reaction because I personally experienced my tongue flaring up and having a bit of a tummy ache but or was it all worth it.
MY TOP VENDORS OF THE DAY
They use Shea Oil which is the oil that comes around the shea butter. It does not harden and it is great for the skin and hair.
I was in love with the flavours of their ice cream. Their ice cream are dairy free and they are made out of Tiger nuts. It even won the great taste 2018 award. They also supply tiger nut milk which they deliver to your door.
Lovely Raw treats which are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. You make them yourself at home with minimum effort. If you know anything about creating energy balls, you know that buying all the individual ingredients can be expensive. They save you time and money.
Talk about holy guacamole, their natural dips were amazing. The flavours honestly speaks for themselves. I loved it
So that’s that for me. If you have ever attended, what additional tips do you have. If not, you need to include this event in your annual calendar and if you are not from London then make this a day trip that will be worth your time.