I am excited about the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference (aka FABlogCon) #FABlogCon in Las Vegas, September 26-28, 2014 and highly recommend it if you are interested in food allergies or blogging about life with a restricted diet. I’m going to cut to the chase and share my top 10 reasons to attend while sharing a little bit about my experience along the way.
Here are my top 10 reasons to attend FABlogCon!
10. Everyone is welcomed regardless of whether you are a parent, a brother, or a grandmother of someone with food allergies. FABlogCon attracts a very strong community of people who get what we go through every day. You don’t have to be a blogger or a professional because Jenny Dare Mitchell Sprague and Homa Woodrum, founders of FABlogCon, have created an event that caters to everyone.
9. You have choices on what you want learn from the conference. The sessions are organized into two tracks and you can choose to participate in food allergy or blogger related sessions. The food allergy/medical track will equip you with information, knowledge, and support from leading food allergy experts. The blogger/writer track will equip you with information to help you with all things related to communication regarding food allergies. And there’s flexibility to switch back and forth between the two tracks to suit your interests.
8. Experience the amazing food and hospitality by South Point Hotel Casino and Spa. How do 100+ people with food allergies and intolerances eat together? Chef Keith Norman is incredible and renowned for his innovative leadership in teaching others in the restaurant industry to cater to those with food allergies. He is in charge of the delicious and allergy safe foods and you can sign up for a behind the scenes tour during one of the breakout sessions.
7. Engage with representatives of your favorite food allergy organizations and businesses: FAACT, FARE, Kids With Food Allergies, Snack Safely, and many others. It is a wonderful opportunity to connect with them, ask questions, and let them know what impact they have on your life.
6. The raffle prizes are amazing! Last year I won a gorgeous epi case from Epi-Essential and love it, but the conference also gave away a Vitamix and a KitchenAide mixer among other amazing prizes. #FABlogCon tip: bring a big suitcase!
5. The vendors and swag rock. I loved meeting representatives of different companies that cater to those on restricted diets and learning more about their products. Two bags of swag, enough said!
4. Meet your favorite food allergy heroes and heroines: I was delighted to meet many of the doctors, advocates, writers, authors, and bloggers that I respect so much. And just when I thought I knew everyone, I also met new friends and was in awe of their incredible stories of courage and grace under pressure.
3. Expand your horizons. It’s amazing to meet others who are the same but slightly different. There were other people in attendance who have other medical conditions that require a special diet. I met people who are vegan, who developed adult onset food allergies, and who have a gluten free diet due to celiac disease.
2. Be inspired. Do you have an idea or is there something that you want to do about food allergies? I had the idea for this blog for a long time but didn’t know how to start and it wasn’t until I attended the conference that the pieces needed to make it happen came together. I’m so excited to attend again this year as this newbie blogger who still has much to learn.
1. Build friendships. It was amazing to finally meet friends that I know only virtually from online food allergy support groups and to exchange hugs, share meals, and chat like long lost friends. The support, friendship, and sense of community among the FABulous attendees at the conference are filled with warmth, laughter, and great joy in being together. There is no other place where you will find so many people dealing with the same food allergy issues as you who are coping well and empowered. The strength and unity in the food allergy community are priceless and I hope that you will decide to come.
Many thanks to Freedible hosting their Twitter party last week. It was such a fun time to connect with old and new friends that attended! And I am so thrilled to win a ticket, thank you! I was torn between using the ticket for myself or giving it away and Jenny and Homa offered a free ticket for me for a give away. Whoo-hoo for me and Nut Free Wok readers! I am so amazed to see how things have cone full circle, where I attended the conference last year with little expectation on how the conference would impact my life and now I have a the opportunity to share this incredible experience with you!
I want to give this ticket to a Nut Free Wok reader that connects with this blog or someone who really wants to go but needs a little help, so I’m going to ask for a tiny bit of effort in order to enter rather than holding an automated giveaway. To enter, you need to write a short paragraph (150 words or less) about how my blog has helped or positively impacted you or your family OR write a short paragraph (150 words or less) about why you want to attend FABlogCon. Since winning the ticket will require you to provide your own transportation and accommodations, it is a commitment on your part to attend and I want your entry to be a thoughtful process. I won’t be judging your entries on the merits of what you write, I will just put your names into a hat and draw a name out of a bag. Please read the giveaway rules carefully on how to enter.
For more information visit FABlogCon’s homepage to see this year’s agenda, break out sessions, guest speaker line up and registration information. You can also see links to last year’s event. Everyone is welcomed and please register ASAP!
This giveaway begins August 18, 2014 and ends at 9 pm (PDT) on Sunday, August 24, 2014. The prize is one free ticket to FABlogCon 2014. Winner will provide their own transportation, lodging, and other expenses. Winner will be available during the conference dates September 26-28, 2014. All entries must include an email address with their entry and the winner has 24 hours to accept the prize via email, otherwise another winner will be chosen. In the event that a winner declines the giveaway or does not respond within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen. All applicable taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited.
How to enter:
Option 1: Write a paragraph (150 words or less) about how my blog, Nut Free Wok, has helped you or your family. You will have one entry. OR
Option 2: Write a paragraph (150 words or less) about why you want to attend Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. You will have one entry.
You may have two entries if you answer both options and write about how NFW has helped you AND why you want to attend FABlogCon (needs to be two separate paragraphs, entered as two separate comments, no more than 150 words each).
Submit your email address and paragraph(s) by posting a comment below. Comments shared via Facebook, other social media, or email will not be accepted. Your privacy is important and your email will not be shared or sold, except to notify the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference that you are a winner. By entering, you agree to all of the rules above and agree that your name and/or your entry may be published and/or quoted in the future by representatives of Nut Free Wok and/or FABlogCon without further obligation.
UPDATE: The giveaway has concluded! Congratulations to the winner, Louise Larsen! Thank you to everyone who entered and participate. I hope many of my Nut Free Wok readers will consider registering and attending anyways for incredible opportunities to learn and share.
I won a ticket courtesy of Freedible.com and FABlogCon provided an extra ticket for me to give away. All opinions about the conference are my own.
My daughter began her life with all the tell-tale signs pointing to a life with allergies. Unfortunately, even the dreaded peanut allergy would rule our lives. As most “allergy moms” I became adept at reading, research & scanning for news about food allergies. Always in hope of the cure that would save us from this horrific ailment. Eventually, the closest one came – Oral Immunotherapy was the therapy we would seek out for our daughter. My plan was to blog from the beginning and forever on about our experience. And i started it & did much of, but fizzled after a graduation! I’d love to attend the Food Allergy Blogger Conference in order to breathe life into my blog and figure out how to continue into the “forever on” part of blogging since I’ve pretty much halted my actual blogging experience. I have more to say, I’m just not sure where or how to begin again.
You are an amazing mother and wife and have had a few high priority events take place. You also have a beautiful, reflective “voice” and I know that when you are ready, your blog will take off again. I do hope you’ll come (no pressure) if you can get away this year, and if not then there’s always next year! <3
As my son began his first day of Kindergarten today, I stood there in his class with tears in my eyes. I was worried about all the other things that most kindergarten moms and dads worry about, but I had another secret. I was nervous for my little man because he has food allergies. And I was nervous for his safety dispite all the meetings, medical drills, allergy signs posted. I was sending my little man off into a world where I didn’t have all the control and my safe bubble was not around him.
We have a second child with the same food allergies. I feel like many opportunities have opened up with friends, co- workers, teachers, etc to advocate for their food allergies. I love creating new recipes for my kids and I’ve started a Facebook group as a place to share those with other families. I’ve considered jumping into the blogging world and this conference would give me the opportunity to meet and gain knowledge from the food allergy bloggers I turn to every day.
Yes, every milestone in our children’s lives have an undercurrent of concern due to their hidden medical disability. It’s hard, but we are part of a supportive community and sharing your stories does raise awareness in your community. Like you, I had an inkling that I wanted to start a blog but the idea of what and why, didn’t hit me until I was at the conference and when I shared it, many seasoned bloggers and advocates shared their feedback. I hope that you will consider coming, I would love to meet you.
Nut Free Wok has been a great inspiration to me to branch out into using ingredients that I don’t normally use. Instead of passing the Asian isle in the store because I assumed that nothing was safe for my family because it would contain nuts, I’ve found myself picking up new ingredients and creating new recipes that I know my family will enjoy. I’ve also learned to make fluffy rice which is a staple in my weekly menu!
Thank you for your comments, which make me smile and feel so happy. Yes, what you said is why I blog, if one loves Asian food, there’s no reason to avoid it if one reads labels and make their meals from scratch! <3
As a parent with a child of multiple food allergies not just ingestion but airborne and touch! Its hard, on top of food allergies my baby is asthmatic and has a connective tissue disorder, and a muscular myopathy. Its hard to live on one income, my husbands works to support us. I stay home due doctors appointments, therapies and home school as well. I would love to attend the Fab bloggers conference in light that it will expand what i have planned for the future! Ssshhhh its not out yet;) My husband would love to take me but being it would coat me and arm and leg just for the ticket its hard.
Wow, it sounds like you have a lot going on in your life. I hope you’ll be able to attend, but if not, save up for next year and register early for the early bird discount. It is an amazing opportunity and I will do my best to share about the conference during and afterwards.
I had hoped to attend Food Allergy Bloggers Conference this year, and heck, I might still – as a friend is attending who I’d love to meet in person. My youngest son who is now 2.5 years old was diagnosed when he was around 15 months old with severe peanut, tree nut and eggs allergies. (And a whole set of minor ones as well). FAB would be a wonderful weekend to just relax around others who get it, and don’t roll their eyes at us. I’d love to be able to talk openly with others and never have to feel we are a burden!
Hi Sarah, I asked different food allergy mom friends from around the country to attend and some of them took me up on it, we had the best time ever. But it was also amazing to make new friends. I really do hope that you will be attending the conference! Let me know if you’ll be there. 🙂
I first became aware of Nut Free Wok while my son and our family was facing harassment & discrimination at my son’s prekindergarten. Vivian Stock-Hendel’s 123… 504 Plan really introduced me to the world of 504’s and learning about my son’s rights. Using her article as a guide, I was able to draft up my accommodations list for my son. Unfortunately, his school did not view my son’s safety as a priority so I was also educated about OCR and how to file complaints. After leaving that school, I am happy to say we found a new school willing to accommodate my son and provide him a safe education using Vivian’s article as a resource to different types of accommodations to consider. Recently, I have also be able to educate myself/keep updated on the SB1266 Bill
Hi Ashely, thank you for your kind words about Nut Free Wok. I love to share my recipes and it helps me to stay on track to fulfill my sons’ requests that I create a cookbook for them. But advocacy and raising awareness is my passion. Thank you for all of your support on SB 1266 and helping, we did it together! 😀
Reason’s I would like to attend Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. First, the agenda looks outstanding! The list of speakers is a little overwhelming but that is only because it is so incredibly exciting that there are going to be so many respected advocates; like-minded people who understand. I would like to enhance my knowledge of food allergies to become a better advocate and educator for my children & others to learn from. I am also interested in learning about blogging. My first child has now entered the world of elementary school. I would like to share my lunch creations that I pack (I like to add a little artistic flare to my allergy friendly lunches). I am ready for our story to be heard. I would be grateful for the opportunity to attend and wish everyone luck!
Hi Ashley, the conference really is outstanding and I hope that you will consider attending. I was truly blown away by the presentations and anchored by the amazing sense of community.
I’m really hoping to win a ticket to Food Allergy Bloggers Conference as attending last year was truly a life-changing event. For eight years I’ve run the Parents Of Kids With A Severe Peanut Allergy Group on Facebook which has been a wonderful experience but one in which names are faceless and posts lack a human voice. The minute I entered the FAB conference it all got real. I immediately started placing faces to names and my journey in the allergy world was suddenly grounded into more personal one. It made a huge difference to finally meet members of my group, countless fantastic food allergy experts and business owners – and begin forging new pathways alongside so many like-minded people sharing a love and concern for food allergy interests. Before arriving I thought I had a finger on what was going on in the allergy community, but FabCon humbled me and opened my eyes to a far richer understanding regarding current issues and treatment options I’d never have known about otherwise. I am forever grateful this conference exists! In seminars I heard about encouraging potentials for new cures on the horizon, and outside seminars dined on delicious food at a beautiful hotel in Los Vegas! A gift to share all this while taking in so much useful information. More importantly, now that I know how useful last year was to me, this year I want to take specific notes to update my my FB group on what I Iearned there and eport on issues close to them. I hope to share with them the reason why this conference is so invaluable for my group members. Most of all, I was also able to forge new friendships and network in ways that helped make my volunteer administration of POKWASPA more effective for its nearly 7,000 members. I’d love to continue that journey this year.
Oh my! We are foodies in our house, but have spent the last 16 years avoiding traditional Asian fare due to my teen’s peanut allergy. Over the years I stumbled and blundered my way through the Trader Joe’s Lazy Mom’s versions of peanut-free Asian cooking, but this is the VERY first time I’ve encountered a food allergy mom with the smarts and talents to actually teach me how to prepare all the basics and secrets of Asian cooking in a peanut-free way!
Here’s a recipe I’d been hoping to try for long – for Asparagus Beef Stir Fry – and I found it right here on her wonderful website “Nut Free Wok!” And I’m also now making great Sticky Rice thanks to her post on that dish, too. Wonderful find!
Thank you Sharon Wong for starting this website and sharing all these culinary gifts with those of us who thought traditional Asian cooking was forever off our shopping lists and kitchen tables. You are amazing!
Hi Louise, thank you so much for your very kind comments! I hope that you and your family enjoyed the stir fry and sticky rice dishes that you made. Thank you for being a pioneer in the food allergy community, helping and supporting through the years. See you soon!