We started by meeting a sponsor of the expo, Massel. Massel makes gluten free, vegetarian and vegan broths. I tried the “chicken” broth, and it was so rich and tasty, I could have drank a cup of that by itself. I never would have guessed there was no chicken in it.
Session One: Gluten Free Belly Blaster
Shortly after that, I headed off to the first session, “Gluten Free Belly Blaster” by Kathy Smart. Smart has been on the Dr. Oz show and has been a nutritionist for the last 19 years. In addition, she’s also a trained chef and cookbook author.
Smart shared her eight secrets for losing the belly fat once and for all:
Eat gluten free whole grains. Great choices include brown rice flour, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, chick peas and black beans. Avoid white rice flour because it’s highly processed.
Stop drinking liquid candy. Smart cautioned against coffee drinks and juice. She explained that every 4 grams of sugar is 1 tsp. of sugar, so if you drink a coffee drink with 68 grams of sugar, you’re ingesting 17 tsp. of sugar!
Eat protein at breakfast. She recommend 25 grams of protein with breakfast to wake up your metabolism and give you a nice start to your day.
Deal with stress. This one really hit home with me. She said you should pay attention to both food stress (caused by eating something you’re intolerant or allergic to) and external stress. Smart said stress is the number one cause of belly fat, and even if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing diet-wise, if you’re stressed and not sleeping enough, you won’t be able to lose weight.
Focus on eating to build muscle. Smart said lifting weights and eating foods that build muscle are important. Muscle takes up much less room in your body than fat. Even if you weigh more but are muscular, you’ll look leaner than if you weigh less and have a lot of body fat.
Add in super foods to fight belly fat. These foods include:
- Kale or any greens
- Chia or ground brown flax
- Coconut oil
- Fish oil
- Protein, protein, protein.
Sleep. Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night so your body can repair and heal itself.
Make food delicious. Smart suggested that participants search the Internet for “Kathy Smart recipes” because she has many free recipes on the internet.
The Vendor Hall
While I was attending this session, my family was wandering the vendor hall and trying the many foods available to sample. We found some great foods. One that I was happiest to find was a gluten free imitation crab. Yeah! Now we can make homemade California roll again.
The vendors were extremely generous with the sample packs. My family left with a bulging bag of samples.
Unfortunately, Cuddle Bug got sick during the expo and started running a fever (100 degrees), so we had to leave the expo early. There were three other sessions, but I missed them because we had to get Cuddle Bug home.
I’m excited to go again next year and to stay for the duration of the conference.
Did you go to the Gluten Free Expo? If so, share your experience in the comments!