My Weekend at the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo, San Diego

A couple weekends ago I had the honor of being a part of the official blogging team for the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo, in Del Mar, San Diego, CA.  It was a great event, with some familiar faces behind some of the brands that I love and new faces for brands I had yet to discover.

As you know on the low-FODMAP diet, reading labels on food products can take some time and we are very limited to the snacks we actually can eat.  With that said, I want to make a point that there are many whole foods that you CAN eat on the diet and those are certainly more important than getting your hands on some tasty snacks.  Ahhh but sometimes I know we all need something to fill in the gaps of hunger during the day or to make snacking more enjoyable.  That’s why I love being your detective and finding more foods for you to enjoy!  I also found some items that could be used for lunch or dinner so read on!

The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo in San Diego is a smaller-sized expo compared to Expo West which I will be attending this March, so I won’t have as many products to share now as I will from Expo West.  As expected I found many breads that had high-FODMAPs like inulin, honey or had more than one gum in the ingredients. Some people with IBS have no issues with something like xanthan gum but may when additional gums are present in the bread.  Pea protein can be an issue too and I write more about that later in the blog post.

Before I share my review of products from the show, I wanted to take you through some examples of ingredient labels for the brands I visited to give you a little bit of practice on how to be your own detective next time you shop!  High-FODMAP ingredients are highlighted in red and ingredients that may be problematic are highlighted in amber.  Anything with a ? means it’s probably OK to consume but the ingredient hasn’t been analyzed as of this writing:

Example of a wheat-free bread: Water, Mixed Wholegrain Flours (Sorghum Flour, Rice Flour, Corn Flour, Millet Flour, Teff Flour, Quinoa Flour(?), Amaranth Flour), Potato Flour(? not analyzed yet for FODMAP but may be suitable), Flaxseeds, Corn Starch, Tapioca Starch, Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Pea protein, Teff Seeds (? possibly OK), Red Quinoa Seeds, Chia Seeds, Sourdough (fermented Quinoa, Corn and Rice Flour), Psyllium Husk, Yeast, Salt, Inulin, Sugar, Canola Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Citric Acid (a mold inhibitor), Malic Acid (a mold inhibitor), Tartaric Acid (a mold inhibitor).  There are still many wheat-free breads that need to be fully analyzed for their FODMAP content and I hope to see more and more products evaluated by Monash University low FODMAP Certification program very soon.

Example of a pack of Cookies: Juice Concentrate (Grape, Apple, or Pear), White Rice Flour (could be an issue) , Expeller Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil), Light Buckwheat Flour, Date Paste, Millet Flour, Molasses, Crystallized Ginger (Ginger, Cane Sugar), Unsweetened Applesauce (Water, Apples), Natural Rice Dextrin(? made when rice starch is broken down by a common enzyme called amylase, acts as a preservative when combined with natural fruit juices. Used to retain moisture, softness and freshness), Ground Ginger, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Vanilla, Ground Nutmeg, Rosemary Extract.

My Favorites From the GFAF

Here were some of my favorites from the #GFAF show:


superseedz maple_5ozThese Maple Sugar & Sea Salt pumpkin seeds snack by SuperSeedz is made with low-FODMAP ingredients and would make a great snack or sprinkle them on a salad or on top of half a small sweet baked potato!  You could also mix these seeds with some macadamia nuts, or top them on salad, in soup or add them to your next recipe for gluten-free bread, pancakes or muffins!  These seeds are made with maple sugar which is mostly sucrose.


Freedom Foods Maple Crunch Cereal (Australia)

freedom cereal low fodmap“Tastes like a pancake breakfast, only crunchier.”  So true!  This is one of the most delicious gluten-free cereals ever!  I love having it with some almond milk.  It’s sweet but not overly sweet and I love how crunchy it is.  Ingredients: Gluten Free Flour Mix (76%) [Rice Flour, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour (21%), Corn (Maize) Flour] Cane Sugar, Psyllium Husk, Maple Syrup (2%), Canola Oil, Salt, Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Flavours. 

Glutenberg Beer! (Canada)

Thankfully on the low-FODMAP diet you can have beer, but please don’t go wild.  If you are serious enough about the diet, an occasional glass of wine (no dessert wine or sticky wine) or beer is OK if you really must have some.  Alcohol is an irritant to the gut so if you can hold off on alcohol for the entirety of the diet – that’s awesome!  If you are looking for a delicious brand of beer when you’re ready to kick back, Glutenberg is where it’s at (I mean the name is awesome right?  Sounds like one of my Jewish friends from back in New York).  This beer is especially awesome for celiacs or those with a gluten-sensitivity (like me).  They are the ONLY gluten-free beer brand that’s 100% gluten-free.  They use 100% gluten-free ingredients and their beer doesn’t contain a single trace of gluten (0.00 PPM).  “At the brewery, we are entirely devoted to the production of gluten-free beer. This means that not a single ingredient containing gluten enters the plant. What’s more, all of our beers are 0,00 PPM-tested by an independent lab. Finally, we conduct an ELISA test on each brew.”  I tried their Blonde and White varieties and liked both, especially the Blonde.  Here is where you can find them distributed in the U.S.




These Sugar Crisp cookies by Enjoy Life are also new to me.  While I did not have the chance to taste them I did check out the ingredients and they appear to be low in FODMAPs.  The only real item in question is the konjac flour (derived from tubers of the elephant yam; a soluble dietary fiber that is similar to pectin in structure and function) which has not been tested and analyzed yet by Monash University for its FODMAP content.  However, it is listed near the end of the label which means it is present in smaller quantities so I don’t see a huge issue there. Ingredients: Flour Mix (White Rice Flour, Millet Flour, Buckwheat Flour), Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Palm Oil, Brown Pure Cane Sugar, Natural Flavor, Salt, Vanilla, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (a white, water-soluble solid that serves as a buffering and chelating agent), Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum (can sometimes cause issues in those with IBS), Konjac Flour (listed as one of the last ingredients, so present in trace amounts), Rosemary Extract.


What Didn’t Make the Cut for Low-FODMAP But Might be Great for Graduates

The foods I am going to share here are more for graduates of the low-FODMAP diet – those of you who have successfully finished both phases of the diet and know which foods are your pesky triggers for IBS.  Here I will explain what I found so that you can be the judge and decide for yourself whether or not you want to give them a taste test.  I tried them all and did not have any issues, but we (all of us with IBS) are all different in the way we handle food.

tera's whey

tera's whey label










I checked out Tera’s Whey Goat Whey Protein, plain, unsweetened and had the chance to taste test and it was good, but not amazing.  It tastes exactly the way you may think – like mild goat milk.  Goat’s milk yogurt is low in FODMAPs but full cream goat milk is not.  This product does not contain any cow’s milk, but it does contain goat’s milk – goat whey protein concentrate and sunflower lecithin.  I would suggest this product if you need a protein powder option and you also know you do not malabsorb lactose.


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So this product might be potentially high in #fodmaps just because of the ingredient pea protein which had not yet been analyzed for its #FODMAP content – so we really have to wait to see what @monashuniversity reports back to us when they are able to analyze #peaprotein I really love this brand and I personally have not had any trouble with their Cheezy Mac or other products that use pea protein. You can always try a little and see how you do! With the #lowfodmapdiet I highly recommend not going crazy over what you can and cannot eat – everyone is different! If you really want something badly and it is not yet been analyzed, try a tiny bit and keep your food and symptom diary handy to report any symptoms or no symptoms ! Glutenfree #wheatfree #gfafexpo #gfafofficialblogger #gfaf #expowesthereicome #countdowntoexpowest @gfafexpo @daiyafoods #sandiego #delmar

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Daiya (pronounced day-ya as I learned from the lovely ladies at the booth because this whole time I have been pronouncing it more like die-ya) is a great brand, especially for those who need to be dairy free or who are vegan.  What I have found in many dairy free or vegan products is pea protein, which is another ingredient I’d love to see tested and analyzed (soon please Monash!).  Pea protein is made from yellow split peas and found in protein shakes, bars and other food products.  An 1/8th cup of thawed peas (they are green per Monash) is moderate in FODMAPs, however yellow split peas are not on the Monash list, so a few things:

  • I do not know the FODMAP content of yellow split peas
  • I do not know the FODMAP content of pea protein – the yellow split peas go through some sort of processing to make the pea protein so I am not sure how that affects the FODMAP content
  • Pea protein is included in Daiya’s Cheezy Mac near the middle of the ingredient list but I am not sure exactly how much is used
  • Onion is listed on the ingredients list but it is the last ingredient which means it’s present in trace amounts (no issues here  -but remember I’ve already completed the diet and know my “FODMAP Threshold”)

I did enjoy their Cheezy Mac when I got home from the expo and it’s totally guy approved.  My husband said “even I like it” which goes a long way from someone who eats meat everyday.  I did not have any issues at all and I also had some fun with the noodles by adding in ground chicken meat that I seasoned and browned slightly in a pan.  Also I need to note that onion is listed allllll the way at the bottom of the list (which means it’s present in smaller quantities).  I personally have issues with raw onion or garlic but if cooked and I have them in small quantities, there’s no issue for me.  You may be different!  Decide for yourself if you’d like to try this product or consider having a little and see how you do.  Again – no issues at all here, just a huge smile after enjoying the gooey “cheez” and noodles!


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Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme



Come with Me to the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo in San Diego!

I am happy to announce that I’ll be on the San Diego, CA team for the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo (GFAF)!  For someone who loves to spend extra time in the grocery store reading labels and checking out new products, you could just say that expos such as the GFAF really excite me.  I’ll be attending Expo West again this year in March, but until then you can find me at the GFAF looking for some new gluten-free products made with ingredients that are low in FODMAPs.

If you are in the Southern California area and would like to attend the GFAF, you may BUY TICKETS HERE and you will definitely have to send me a message so we can meet.  Don’t forget to share your social media links with me too.  You can also try to WIN tickets via my giveaway on Facebook and Instagram on January 28th!

gfafSo what is the GFAF all about?  The expo is a combination of exhibitor booths and educational classes related to gluten-free and allergen-friendly living.  All foods are gluten-free, plus, each exhibitor booth will be labeled with an allergen card, helping you understand which common allergens may or may not be contained in the products and samples.  Vendors will also include companies with health & beauty items, vitamins & supplements and other services for a gluten-free and allergen-friendly lifestyle.  Several brands will be exhibiting including the big guns in gluten-free foods like Glutino, Udi’s, Enjoy Life, Daiya, Van’s and Earth Balance.

Another great aspect to the show is the coupons and samples given out by vendors – you will be given a reusable bag to carry a few items back home with you (and they do encourage filling your bags up)!  If you are going to grab a sample it’s always nice to talk to the exhibitors and ask questions.  If you can’t stop to say hi, be sure to say thanks!  I’ve found that by taking the time to ask questions I learn more about the food products than can be expressed on the label or packaging.  When I have the time, I also love learning the origin to the brand’s story.

One of my favorite 100% gluten-free restaurants will be there, 2Good2B Bakery and Cafe.  I am lucky to live close by to Diane Benedeck’s establishment in Encinitas, CA and I can’t say enough about her menu.  Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, baked breads or sweet treats you need, she’s got it.  I can’t find many places that are 100% gluten-free (there are only two that I know of in San Diego!).  Diane once suffered from fibromyalgia, pain, a defective thyroid (Hashimotos, like me) and fatigued adrenals but has since turned her life around omitting gluten, corn and soy from her diet.  You can learn more about Diane here and 2Good2B here.

gluten free allergen friendly expo san diego

“How can I win tickets?”  Simply go to my Facebook and Instagram page on January 28th for details and please share this blog post with friends!

Some things to consider if you plan on attending:

  • The San Diego GFAF will be held on February 20-21, from 10am-4pm
  • Parking is $10, cash only
  • You will receive a free reusable bag to hold your goodies from the expo
  • If you need to bring a stroller the expo asks that you only bring a single stroller
  • If you or your guest are in a wheelchair, you may be more comfortable on Sunday since the aisles are less crowded
  • You may purchase items while at the show but know that some vendors take credit cards, and some only cash
  • All classes are included with your entry ticket.  Take a look at the classes offered


Del Mar Fairgrounds-Wyland Center
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014-2216

If you’re planning on going to the expo please contact me and share your social media links with me so we can connect during the show!


Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme