Monday, October 27, 2014

The Art Of Ignorance

I'm sure you have heard about the Jennifer Lawrence debacle by now. If you haven't, well, she pretty much summed up gluten free as a new form of anorexia. Not cool and really ignorant.

Why is it that famous people feel the need to continually talk publicly about things which they are definitely not educated about?

I will tell you why.

The media does a fantastic job of glorifying gluten free as a trend. Rarely does anyone talk about Celiac. When they do, its nothing more than a fluff piece that overlooks the ugly side of this autoimmune disease. Those with the opportunity to educate the masses spend their time sensationalizing silliness and feeding people incorrect information. Many Doctors don't even really understand Celiac and many go about diagnosing it incorrectly.

As a result, the general public is pretty misguided about an already complex and misunderstood disease. This is why I don't entirely lay blame on J-Law and others like her. I'm sure she has received a fare share of backlash from our community. As a result, I hope she has become a little more educated on the matter at hand. 

If you are planning on reaching out to her via social media, remember to keep it respectful and insightful. 




Friday, August 29, 2014

Thornhill Farms - Review


I'm a snacker. Everyone knows it. Having to bring a "just in case there are no safe options" snack with me when I'm out, most likely plays a roll in it.

So when Thornhill Farms sent me some of their products for review, I was up for the challenge.


Rice Bites flavors 
Sea Salt
                                              Black Pepper
Sea Salt & Vinegar
Applewood Smokey BBQ Flavor




 Snack Cracker Thins flavors 
Sea Salt
Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream & Onion
Lime & Black Pepper Flavour





I appreciate that both the Rice Bites and Cracker Thins are baked instead of fried. They are also certified Gluten Free, which lets face it, is AWESOME!

Thornhill Farms gets the flavours right, without overdoing it. I don't feel like I'm overindulging with these products. They are very light to eat and don't leave you feeling weighed down like other snacks do.

Overall these are great snacks. Bonus points for being able to munch on them in the car sans mess. If you have been on a long car ride with munchkins, you know exactly what I mean.

My personal favourite is the Apple Smokey BBQ Flavour Rice Bites! I could honestly down a whole bag myself. But I didn't. I shared with my lovely family who really enjoyed our little snack! This flavour in particular, would be great with a BBQ meal or picnic.


You can find Thornhill Farms Rice Bites and Snack Cracker Thins across Canada. They retail for a reasonable $3.49  and can be found at the locations below.

Quebec :  Tao
Maritimes : Sobeys
Ontario :  Bulk Barn and natural food stores
Western Canada: London Drugs and natural food stores


You can also order by the case, through Thornhill Farms directly (Canadian orders) or Better Batter (US orders)  here .


Happy Snacking!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

10 Tips For A Magical Quick Service Experience

Walt Disney World handles special dietary needs such as gluten free, allergens and kosher, ect. with extreme care. Navigating meal times can be overwhelming so it is important to have a plan of action before you head to the world.

Check out the tips below, to ensure that you have a magical quick service experience.




Magic Kingdom


10 Tips For A Magical Quick Service Experience



1) Be Prepared 



  • Contact Disney's Special Diets team to get a reference list of what gluten free and other dietary items are available and where to find them in the world. 
  • Plan your meals in advance.
  • Visit Disney's dining page to become familiar with dining options such as price point, theme and cuisine type.






2) Time It Wisely


  • Dining at non traditional times will help you avoid the meal time rush. Try having lunch before 11:30 am and dinner somewhere around 4:00 pm or 7:00 pm.
  • Special dietary meals can take an extra 10-15 minutes to prepare, so order these first.




3) Try Something New


  • Epcot is a great place to be adventurous. With eleven different countries providing Quick Service fare, you can pretty much eat your way around the World here.
  • Want a French inspired meal, with a Table Service feel? Try Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom. This Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant offers Quick Service dining at lunch time. It also commands long lines, so try to get a Fast Pass, if you can.



Gluten Free Pasta and Garlic Bread




4) Variety, The Key To Happiness


  • Look for locations which offer a wide range of food choices. My personal favourites include Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (Magic Kingdom) and Landscape of Flavors (Art of Animation).
  • Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe has various order "bays", with each offering varying food selection. Be sure to check out the menu board so you know which bay to order from. This place is huge! With lot's of seating, both indoors and out finding a table should be easy peasy. 
  • Landscape of Flavors has several stations which provide both international and American style food. I love how fresh everything is here! You actually get to see your meal being made, fresh. Another plus to this Quick Service location, is the personal customization available for many dishes.



Quick Service Burger Bay




5) Sit Back And Relax


  • Take time to slow down. Enjoy your meal, along with the beautiful Disney atmosphere. Not only will you feel refreshed, you will have a new found appreciation for the detail which surrounds you. Your feet will thank you for the extra down time as well.

Landscape of Flavors



6) Know Before You Go



  • Familiarize yourself with the open and close times Quick Service locations. Operating times vary throughout the parks and resorts.This is especially important during the off season.
  • Pepper Market in the Coronado Springs hotel automatically adds a 10% gratuity, even though it is a Quick Service location. You can avoid this extra charge by ordering your meal to go.

Boardwalk Bakery Snacks


7) Save Money


  • Quick Service items can be ordered a la carte. If you don't want something that is part of a combo, skip it and save the difference in cost. 
  • Ghirardelli in Down Town Disney to enjoy some offers free chocolate samples.
  • Club Cool in Epcot provides free sampling of 8 different soft drinks from around the world.
  • Not sure about a certain menu item? Ask for a sample. Many Quick Service locations will happily provide a tasting size sample, free of charge.
  • All Quick Service locations can provide you with a free cup of ice water
Gluten Free Chicken Strips and Fries


8) Snack Wisely


  • If you opt for the dining plan, avoid using snack credits for drinks. Instead, use your refillable mug at the resort. No dining plan? Consider purchasing a Rapid Fill Refillable mug.
  • Having a muffin or a bowl of fruit for breakfast will allow you to save money and time in the morning.
  • Some snacks are even big enough to share...if you want to, that is.


Babycakes Gluten Free Brownies



9) Enjoy A Meal Off The Beaten Path

  • Consider a ride on the monorail, to one of resort hotels for lunch or dinner. It's a great opportunity to get away from the parks, during peak hours. These Quick Service locations are also much quiter, which is a bonus.
  • If you are renting a car, head over to BoardWalk or Downtown Disney for a meal. Both destinations offer outside seating, with beautiful views of the water.



Boardwalk Bakery


10) Thanks For The Magic


  • Disney is light years ahead of the curve when it comes to accommodating dietary restrictions. Make a cast member’s day magical by saying thanks! 

  • Stop by Guest Relations at the parks and let them know how thankful you are for all of their hard work. Be sure to bring up anyone who has given your vacation an extra sprinkling of pixie dust!

  • You can also email wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com  to voice your appreciation.

Walt Disney World Chef

Special Notes To Remember

  • Bring Disney's dietary reference list with you to the parks
  • Gluten Free meals are made to order so allow an extra 10-15 minute wait
  • When in doubt, ask questions
  • Consider sharing a meal. Disney portions are quite big



If you will be in the Orlando area in November, drop by the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. This is a ticketed event and takes place on Saturday November 22nd 2014.

You can stay up to date with this celebration of awareness by connecting with the event on social media.

Pinterest  FACC WDW
Facebook Food Allergy and Celiac Convention
Twitter   @celebrateaware


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Food Allergy And Celiac Convention

Looking for a Celiac safe, vacation destination? Want variety and amazing flavour at every meal? Walt Disney World is where its at. I mean it. When it comes to safe Gluten Free dining, Disney does it best. I can say so from personal experience!



This November brings us the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention at Disney. I am happy to share that I am a member of the blogger street team for this great event. Being part of the team means that I will be sharing information related to both the event itself and all things Disney gluten free.






The event will be hosted on Disney property at the Coronado Springs Resort on November 22nd 2014. 


Event Details



  • Expo Area (featuring vendors, sponsors & non-profit organizations)
  • Welcome Breakfast (ticketed event for guests)
  • Non-dairy Ice Cream Buffet (ticketed event for guests)
  • Kids Corner
  • Speakers, panels, & workshops focusing on all aspects of celiac disease & food allergies
  • Culinary demonstrations, featuring Disney chefs
  • 15 Minutes of Fame Stage where vendors & sponsors can highlight their unique brands & products
  • Raffle baskets & giveaways (before & during the event weekend)
  • Pre-event recipe booklets where vendors & sponsors can highlight their unique brands and products with recipes
  • And more!

Tickets


You can purchase tickets here

Adult tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door*

Kids' tickets are $5 in advance as well as at the door*

*Door tickets will only be available, if there are any left for purchase


Follow event updates via Facebook and Twitter:  


The proceeds from ticket sales will go to food allergy & non-profit organizations.




***This event is not affiliated with the Walt Disney company***



Monday, July 7, 2014

Celebrating Gluten Free Life In Canada



What it's like to be Gluten Free in Canada


 The Canadian Celiac Association provides advice and support nation wide.

We enjoy the hard work provided by the Gluten Free Certification Program. When  the below symbol is on a package, we can be sure it has met high standards and is safe for consumption.



Some Canadian Celiac Facts

1 in 133 people in Canada are estimated to have Celiac Disease.



Thunder Bay MPP Bill Mauro  has our backs as c
urrently Ontario is the only Province in which the Celiac blood test is not covered.



Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario are working on a therapy to treat Celiac Disease.



Our Laws

It is illegal to label oats gluten free in Canada. They may only carry wheat free on the label.

The Canadian Government offers support information online.
 
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA )is responsible for enforcing Canada's strict food labelling laws. If something is mislabelled Gluten Free or is leading people to believe it's safe, when in fact it is not, we can report the offending product here.

They are  also responsible for our Food Recall Warnings program. This program provides alerts via email sign up, Twitter, Facebook, RSS Feeds and mobile application.


Notable Canadian Celiac's


Max Domi is a Minnesota Wild 2014 draft prospect , and son of retired Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi.


Christine Nesbitt  is an 
Olympic gold medal speed skater 



Tom Kostopoulos  ia a f
ormer Calgary Flames Right Wing  and current member of the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins farm team)







Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day !!!


Happy Canada Day !!!





To celebrate I made a patriotic Strawberry Shortcake to enjoy with the family







Monday, June 23, 2014

Nakd Fruit And Nut Bars - Review


I'm always on the hunt for Gluten Free snacks that I can take on the go with me. 
So, I was happy as can be, when offered the chance to review Nakd Raw Fruit & Nut bars.

What makes Nakd Bars different from other cereal bars on the market? The impressive lack of ingredients! They are simply fruit and nut and are made with natural ingredients with no added sugar.


The 4 Gluten Free bars I sampled are : 
Berry Delight
Cocoa Delight
Cashew Cookie
Cocoa Orange


While all four are tasty, the Cocoa Delight is by far my favourite! If you are wondering what to compare these to, they are similar to Lara Bars. I think you need to be a fruit and nut bar fan to begin with, in order to appreciate this product as it is definitely not your average cereal bar.

Hubby and our little man tried these bars as well. Hubby was impressed and will most likely dip into my pantry for more. Little man is on the other hand was less than enthused. I think he was actually kind of mad at me. That's okay though as it leaves more for me to snack on! 



WHOLE FOODS SMOOSHED TOGETHER!
NO ADDED SUGAR
GLUTEN, WHEAT & DAIRY FREE





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