Sparks of Magic

Wellness

Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo | San Mateo 2018

Events, Food, WellnessCamilleComment

Living gluten free in 2018 is so much easier than it was a decade ago, when I found out I could no longer partake in most of my favorite foods, including Disneyland churros. However, over the years I found other sensitivities to foods (dairy, soy, other grains) that affected more than just my gut, but also my mind and mental wellness.

Today, this lifestyle is becoming more typical for my family as we are shifting our mindset together to more whole foods, organic, mostly grain-free and always being extra careful about my daughter’s life threatening allergy to peanuts and legumes.

I was so excited to find out that there is an expo dedicated to connecting brands that offer all gluten free foods to consumers! With over ten sponsors and eighty (yes 80) gluten free brands, it will take two days to get through each booth and learn at the educational classes about living gluten free and allergen friendly, whether for yourself, your loved ones or to increase your awareness for others.

Check out the brands in attendance »

About the GFAF Expo

The event is two days:
November 17th & 18th, 2018
10 am - 3 pm both days.

Location: San Mateo County Event Center - Fiesta Hall
Parking is $12 per day (no in/out privileges)

Ticket Info

What do you get with your ticket?

  • Coupons from the best gluten-free & allergen-friendly brands

  • FREE samples from exhibitors- baked goods, pizza, healthy options & more

  • Discounted products available for purchase

  • Informative classes related to the gluten-free & allergen-friendly lifestyle

  • Free reusable bag to carry your goodies

  • The chance to meet your favorite brands, restaurants, authors & bloggers

Adults (Ages 13+):
$15 - 1 day or $25 weekend pass

Kids (Ages 3-12):
$5 - 1 day or $7 weekend pass

Family pass (2 adults and up to 6 kids) - Sunday only
$35

Purchase tickets »

Early bird promo code: ADVANCE for 20% off tickets through November 16, 2018!

Follow along with me on social @camilledashana (twitter & IG) and the hashtag #GFAFExpo - Hope to see you there!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission through each ticket purchased. I am attending this event as a media professional and will receive complimentary access to the Expo in order to report and share my experience with my readers.

Clean Beauty - type:A Natural Deodorant Review

Reviews, WellnessCamilleComment

Growing up, I have always been extremely self-conscious about body odor, and it has taken me years to find products that a) work and b) don’t give me an allergic reaction. It wasn’t until my exposure to Mamavation and Shiftcon that I found products that helped with alleviating any skin issues, but most natural deodorants have yet to truly help with the odor for longer than a couple of hours.

Sweat is a natural process and helps our bodies eliminate toxins, therefore we should not be preventing the sweat ( like using anti-perspirants) from happening. I choose deodorant that helps absorb the sweat through natural ingredients and oils.

There are two formulas of type:A, “The Minimalist” which is fragrance-free, and I selected “The Visionary” which is described as having a Citron Crisp naturally scented with essential oils. The essential oils give the deodorant a nice touch, it is not too strong or overpowering and the consistency of the deodorant is just right, dries clear and doesn’t feel sticky or wet.

What I love about Type:A’s natural deodorant

Easy to apply - Many natural deodorants have a pasty consistency, making application messy and more difficult when on-the-go. Let’s be honest, the last thing I want to do is hand rub stuff under my armpits when applying mid-day. The tube is easy-to-use, has a soft silicone top and at 2.8 oz it is travel-friendly!

Great for sensitive skin - The first natural deodorant I switched to a couple of years ago was Tom’s of Maine. I chose it because it was natural and assumed it was gluten free. I quickly realized after a few weeks of itchy armpits that I was allergic to it because of the ‘hops’ - for some reason I did not put two and two together that it was wheat (duh me, beer and hops). It worked keeping odor at bay, so I just assumed I had a reaction to the razor from burns. Nope, it was the deodorant. Contrary to what some blogs I have read will say, gluten still effects me in cosmetics not just food. I get itchy and break out. It makes sense, our skin is the largest organ and we absorb anything we put onto it. Reminder, I am not a medical professional, so it is important that you listen to your body when it comes to allergies and consult with your doctor.

Non-Toxic, Aluminum, Paraben and Phthalate Free - As this lifestyle of green & overall wellness shift happens for me and my family, I am navigating towards purchasing products and supporting businesses that have a natural, non=toxic focus. Since I am not the only one with skin and allergy issues, it is important that I find products for all of our family that are free from unsafe chemicals and synthetics that contribute to a whole slew of health issues. type:A is transparent in its ingredients list on their website which is awesome. Additionally, type:A’s formula is 100% non-toxic using only plant-derived or safe synthetic ingredients.

Quick results - Honestly, it is the first deodorant that worked immediately. My first try I applied it prior to a workout and I was impressed (and yes I smelled my pits) and smiled. I’ve been using type:A daily for almost two months now and typically only have to apply it once per day (although our 100º weather in CA has amped the sweat so a refresh has been necessary over the summer). I carry one in my purse/backpack and was prepared for our most recent trip to the Happiest Place on Earth so that we could all stay fresh and happy!

I am so excited to have found a deodorant that keeps me fresh and without the worries of what my skin, and my family’s skin, is absorbing daily. I will continue to seek out non-toxic, safe products to add to my clean beauty routine!

Have you tried type:A? Do you have a favorite non-toxic deodorant? Let me know in the comments!

This post is sponsored by type:A Deodorant and contains affiliate links. I was provided with a free product for my test and review to share on my blog, however all opinions are my own magical thoughts. If you choose to purchase through these affiliate links, Sparks of Magic will earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting the magic!

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Freedom in Release

Thoughts, Family, WellnessCamilleComment
Ocean-PointReyes.jpeg

It’s been way too long since I’ve written from the heart, and I look forward to sharing more. I’m in the middle of rebranding the blog both in design and focus. It’s something I’ve talked about since the beginning of the year but just haven’t gotten to it. As our family’s life has shifted dramatically in the past couple of months, it seems like the most appropriate time to shift in my space on the web.

Even in darkness I know there is beautiful magic and I appreciate the magic so much more going through this seemingly dark period in my life, after my dad-in-love’s passing. I think that’s what Dad continues to show me.

We live and love through our journey and must find that magic to hold onto.

It’s not easy by any means and every bit is a learning and growing experience.

Let Go

One of the things I am slowly learning, is to let go and free myself. In order for me to truly be free I have to allow others the same freedom. I must let go all the way, and that includes releasing others of my expectations. Why? Because it keeps me bound in my mind. I begin to worry about things that aren’t necessary to worry about. I want to be free. I liken this to being at the beach and I want to truly feel the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the water; I’ve gotta get up and go in. But if I’m holding the hands of people that aren’t willing to feel those things with me, and waiting for them, I am still bound. I’m not free because I won’t release their hand. Essentially, I have to let go.

Your Freedom is Your Own

I have to free myself from how I think they should be, live, respond, believe, or feel, in my mind. I also can’t live in fear for others because their journey is not mine. I can’t do that for my kids or husband , my best friends or my family. I’m not abandoning them by any means, I’m simply opening myself to let go. I’m still there, but I’m in the water. I’m experiencing my freedom. For others, their freedom is on the sand because perhaps they feel trapped by the water. I can’t be mad that they don’t feel free in the water. Why would I want someone with me if they’re in fear? Let’s say they physically decide to go with me in the water, but they are now trapped in their own minds, too. Their lessons and learning aren’t the same as what I need.

Will we eventually be in the same place and share the same emotion? Perhaps, and if not, I have to be okay. I have to appreciate them on the sand, or in the air, or in their car, haha. I have to appreciate that our journeys will always be that – OUR OWN. One isn’t better than the other, they’re just different.

Release Others

We have to get to a place where we are looking at how we are living and release ourselves and others from expectations. Does it hurt sometimes? Sure it does, it can be scary feeling as if we are alone wherever we are, but we must allow ourselves to feel the hurt, and just let it pass through. We can’t dwell and we must focus on our own hearts because they also have to live and learn and grow in theirs.

Keep loving friends, keep living and spreading your magic. Let others splash in the water or roll in the sand. Let them experience and grow in their freedom how they need to. Love and appreciate where they are because they are learning and growing, just in a different way.

Saying No to the Summer Bod

Food, WellnessCamilleComment

Growing up, I never knew there was a difference between my winter body and summer body, mainly because I am not the type of person that jumps at the chance to lay on the beach, or go for a hike, or strip down to barely there and get into water, either. Mind you, I enjoy looking at the beach or admiring the forest - in pictures. I used to love being in the water when I was younger, and even swimming IN the ocean, especially Hawai'i. Until - FISH.

Once I was old enough to realize they are IN THERE WITH ME - Nope.

No lakes, no oceans, sure as hell no rivers and whatever is growing in there can stay in there. I resolved to only eat fish, they are not my friends - they are in fact food (sorry Nemo, but Bruce was wrong, LOL).

In Northern California, we have long summers. So, even getting a late start on priming our bodies to enjoy the heat of the sun, wearing the allowable allocation of the most minimal amounts of clothing, tends to last longer that other regions of the nation. Granted, not everyone follows the same allocation of clothing to the body, but hey, do you. It's mid-July, but believe me summer is still going strong till October. I'm getting a later start, but better late than never, right?

Forget the summer bod, focus on your lifetime bod

The last few weeks I've been hitting the ground running, in hopes to get my booty in shape for the summer, but with a reasonable goal to reach by my 35th birthday in November. I lovingly call it "Fly by 35." Now, I am all about loving one's self, so for those of you thinking, "girl you're already fly, love yourself," THANK YOU. I know. AND I am going to continue to love myself by making sure I am still running around by ages 50 and 60 because I have a lot to do with my life, like hopefully chase after my grandkids and great-grandkids. You know I want to be able to run down Main Street U.S.A. with each of them, for their first trip. I'm just early-prepping my aging body to withstand the future adventures. That's how I see it anyway.

Then I began to think about it, and I realized that I don't want a summer bod, I want a lifetime bod. I've said it in previous posts, it's easier said than done. My weight fluctuates and my life circumstances change so I put workouts on the back burner, or even at times if food money was slim, I eat the crap to give the good stuff to the kids, or I just don't eat at all. It's a sacrifice as a parent, right? But that's not healthy either and I plan on being around for a while, so I decided that I needed to get in gear. I'm sharing my work-in-progress plan of staying on track with a lifetime bod. I'm not getting any younger, and L O V E countdowns, so my first goal is to see how I can stay on track up to my 35th birthday.

3 Things that Will Help Me Stay on Track for a Lifetime Bod

1. Food

Being allergic to a lot of things means my food intake is already limited. However, I am not allergic to chocolate (thankfully) but that also means that I have to limit what I'm not allergic to (chocolate) in order to balance my gut with my muscles. Regardless, I have to eat. When you're working out, expending energy, you need to intake energy in the form of foods and supplements. For work and home I switch up between morning protein shakes, fruits and raw veggies and I usually will eat leftovers from dinner that week. I haven't gotten into the meal prep craze so I take baby steps. One meal at a time, literally.

When it's time to head out the door for a family meal, there are a few spots that I can count on to customize meals that fit my lifestyle and allergies. Aside from Disneyland, one of my favorite places to grab a bite (at any hour of the day), is Denny's. Breakfast, Lunch, or  Dinner, I know that I can jump in a booth and enjoy a meal that satisfies my tummy and keeps me under calories.

 Image © Denny's

Image © Denny's

Even if you don't have allergies to deal with, maybe you're just monitoring your caloric intake or looking for healthier options, Denny's Fit Fare Menu is a perfect place to start. There are four categories for Fit Fare: Lean, Light, Protein and Fiber.

They offer breakfast options like The Fit Slam (Lean, Light & Protein) is egg whites scrambled with spinach and grape tomatoes, bacon and an English Muffin; Banana Pecan Pancake Breakfast (Lean and Fiber) which sounds amazing - glazed pecans cooked into the wheat pancakes, fresh banana slices, egg whites and two strips of turkey bacon; and finally the Fit Fare Veggie Skillet (Light & Protein) - who says you can't have veggies for breakfast?! 

BONUS: For the gluten free customer, they offer gluten free English muffins! Throw the scrambled eggs, into the muffin and layer the bacon (hold the grape tomatoes, or get them on the side), and you have an awesome breakfast sandwich. You can even add a slice of cheese just to make sure it all stays in there together! I love cheese, so regardless of what kind of body I have cheese stays.

I’ll be more excited about the lunch, if Denny’s begins to carry gluten free hamburger buns, because their Chicken Avocado Sandwich is mouthwatering. Denny’s also offers a Cali Jack Burger (Protein & Fiber) and Cranberry Apple Chicken Salad (Lean & Light) for the lunch options. I could always just “bring my own bun” which wouldn’t be a first. :)

 Fit Fare Alaska Salmon Image © Denny's

Fit Fare Alaska Salmon Image © Denny's

Dinner time is always a fun time because typically I have the whole family with me, so I tend to either share a meal with the hubby, or just have something light. I don’t like to eat a ton in the evenings, especially restaurant food, it’s heavy on my gut. I can definitely see myself eating off the Dinner options, because FISH. Remember my love for fish - on my plate? Denny’s has two delicious options of seafood - Tilapia Ranchero and a new dish, Alaska Salmon. Want red meat? Then the new Sirloin Steak is your best option.

When I’m not eating at Disneyland, Denny’s or trying out some cool new restaurant (I wish I did this one more), I’ll be toting my work lunch full of whatever delicious cuisine that my hubby and or kids prepared the night before! Or, I’ll be eating a gluten free cupcake. LOL.

2. Exercise

Eating right is only a portion of getting that lifetime bod. Movement is extremely important. I’ve realized after transitioning from retail to an office environment, sitting at my desk 8+ hours of the day works against my goals of maintaining a hot mama bod. I’m excited to say that I’ve been consistent in exercising either through walking, running, and/or my Nike Training Club workout app the last few weeks. On a good day, I do "two-a-days" which makes me feel super accomplished.

I’ve shared my excitement over the app in a previous post, and I swear it just keeps getting better! With one of the most recent updates, I am able to schedule my workout plan and time frame. This app also works in sync with the Nike+ Running app. I decided to create a workout plan for the month of July, just to test the waters. I’ve had some times that I had to edit my plan, because I didn’t have time, or was too sore, and the app allows that freedom to switch and add workouts.

3. Rest & Recover

I’m honestly having the hardest time with resting. My brain goes a billion miles per hour, there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done. Even if I skip a workout I am not resting, I’m doing something else. It’s important to allow your body to recover, realign and rest. Some of the ways that I’ve found to just relax my mind is by playing a game on my iPhone, or listening to an audio book.

My current rest obsession is Disney's Emoji Blitz. :) It's a cute little game and you play to earn Disney Emojis for your keyboard. H E L L O - Disney Emojis. Having conversations with your crew are more fun with Disney magic.

In case you want to try it out, my awesome friend Mindy wrote all about it over on her blog This FairyTale Life. If you haven't downloaded the game yet, you should. It's adorable and quite therapeutic! 

When you are consistently working out, make sure you are taking the proper time to let your body recover, especially if you are really starting new or have been stagnant for a long time. You will feel it, maybe not immediately, but usually the next day or two. Go hard or go home, yes, but don’t hurt yourself!

All in all, I’m learning to mindful of my body and my spirit. On days that I just don’t want to workout or feel like I need to get that entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s in my mouth, I have to remind myself that I only get one body, so I need to love and care for it on a daily basis, always look to maintaining it for future use. This might look different for everyone, we all are unique. There's no right size or shape. We should work on being fulfilled, happy and whole inside and out. I want to be around for a long time. I know that my hubby and kids want that, too. There’s a lot that I haven’t experienced in life, but I’m hopeful that these eyes will be able to see things, my feet will be able to take me to far off places and that my hands will be able to create magic for a long time. Happy and healthy. That's my goal.

Will you join me in saying "no" to the summer bod and work towards maintaining a lifetime bod? :)

This conversation was sponsored by Denny's in an ongoing partnership to bring you the newest menus and special offerings, as I am a member of Denny's Diner Ambassador Council. All thoughts and opinions are magical and mine. :)