What is my life without Chocolate Brownies? Day trip to Glasgow part 1: The Allergy and Free From Show

So a little more standard Blog update today and hopefully I can have more of these going forward (although I always say that and have yet to follow through on it).

In order to kickstart a more involved life and hopefully career in the food/fitness world I went to the “Allergy and Free From” show in SECC Glasgow today. Not exactly a premium food fitness event you say? Well I myself am lactose intolerant so from a food perspective this was something that felt worth a look! 

As an added bonus I scored a free Ticket to the Scottish Cycling, Running and Outdoor Activities show as well! (I’ll write about this another time!)

Me all pre-food and happy in my GT&A hoodie!

The Allergy and Free From Show:

When I arrived my stomach knew right away that we were going to have problems. When it comes to food, my brain has no off switch; I will pretty much eat until I throw up, and today there were free samples everywhere. 

While I was rather gracefully inhaling the all the free food one thing became apparent. All I had eaten was about 6 varieties of chocolate brownie along with cakes and cookies.

Brownies. Brownies Everywhere…and yes I ate all of them even though I complain

When I first realised I was dairy intolerant, I don’t recall ever thinking “oh god how will I live without chocolate brownies?!” Why were there so many brownies in this place? I supposed in the same way “sex sells” I guess events like this need to wheel out the sexy food to pull in the crowds, but seriously it was 80% cake, cookies, sausage rolls and deep fried fish and chips. Tesco was the redeeming provider here with savoury meals but again, microwave meals aren’t exactly the answer to my dairy free prayers. I’d like to have seen some more stands with healthy foods and ingredients like the Doves Farm stand; I could have easily cleaned out my bank account here had they only taken card payments…

Which takes me to a small rant/point; as someone who worked in the innovation dept in the finance industry. Why are these events so antiquated on the payment front? There were a so many things I would have bought, but couldn’t because it was cash only (& no way was I paying £1.75 to use the ATM). Admittedly in my unemployed state it was probably for the best, but still there are so many e-payment systems these days the whole “cash is king” approach feels very dated.

Some seriously nice gluten free Bread/wraps and one of the few savoury samples on the go that were not just gluten free Bread and lurpak

The final thought for the day was the reality that “Free from” still largely means “Gluten Free”. I have no problem with gluten (& let’s be honest, neither do about 90% of people that claim they can’t eat gluten) but annoyingly it’s trendy to not eat gluten, so while pretty much everything is gluten free (a super huge win for coeliacs though so not all bad), dairy free is still a tad rare. Not all was lost though, both Tesco and Sainsbury’s saved the day with vegan cheeses (never thought I’d write that). Seriously I tried vegan cheese about 13 years ago on first discovering my dairy intolerance and it was so vile that I vowed never to buy it again, but the samples I tried today actually tasted like cheese so I may be add cheese to the menu again!

So here’s the show in short:

  • I cannot live on brownies alone. More savoury options and less fast food
  • Vegan cheese is nice: who knew?!
  • If you’re a coeliac, you’re options are growing (win!)
  • Where was Arla? They have some of the best lacto free stuff around but were distinctly absent?
  • I ate too much food, now I feel sick. Damn brownies…
My freebie haul (minus one sandwich and chocolate muffin, I ate them #noregrets)