Discovering Nadia’s Market

Born and raised in St. Catharines, we travel back to visit family occasionally. This time, we were squeezing in some shopping as well. Not just any shopping though. Gluten free shopping!
I knew Nadia’s Market had been open for a few months and was eager to see what it offered.
But we got there too late. It was a Friday night and when we walked up to the doors, the sign said they closed at 6pm. One look at my watch reading 6:21pm and my heart sank. But when I pushed the door open and it was unlocked, I figured I’d fake ignorance. I mean, how often do you get a brand new GF trip?? “Oh, are you already closed?” I asked innocently, which I soon found out was completely unnecessary. Nadia herself welcomed us and invited us to take our time looking around. She was very helpful in suggesting items and extremely knowledgeable in every aspect of her shop.
The entire store is gluten free! It wasn’t a section of GF, or a dedicated shelf, but everything inside that doorway was safe for me. A little like Christmas, I suppose and I seriously didn’t know where to start.

Nadia told us about events she regularly runs, guests she invites in-house and the info she provides is a fabulous resource. Anyone in Niagara needs to make this Gluten Free trip!

Oh, the couponing side of me was pretty excited to learn that they offer a stamp program for every $10 spent. As if I needed more incentive to return!
We left with a couple bags full of treats. And I’m not gonna lie, there may have been a cupcake that didn’t quite make it home.

We’ll see you soon, Nadia. And next time, we’ll show up during business hours:)

http://nadiasmarket.com/

Spring is in the BBQ Air!

Although we’ve had little but rain the past few weeks in our area, that is the indicator that the warm weather is inching closer. And with it comes the protruding tulips, the lighter jackets and-you guessed it-barbeque season!
Our family barbeques almost everything. From grilled veggies, shrimp skewers and the fabulous classic-The Burger. With fresh, Canadian ground beef this is an automatic staple.
To ensure our burgers are gluten free, it’s easy to modify any recipe. Substitute with GF bread crumbs if the recipe calls for it, or omit altogether. The link below has some suggestions to make your burgers a success:

Everyone has their own preferences for toppings, so the key is selection. From tomato to avocado to bacon, there is never a shortage at our house!
I can almost smell them on the grill just thinking about it…
Whos’ hungry? http://www.beefinfo.org/

http://eatwriteretreat.com/

Read those Labels!

Awhile back, I began singing the praises of Presidents Choice. With the new line of PC Gluten Free treats like chocolate chip cookies, banana bread and muffins, how could I go wrong?
It started with end caps. We first found the GF products divided nice and neatly…with loaves of whole grain bread in between! So my husband and I took it upon ourselves to rearrange the shelves, to avoid anyone possibly mistaking the bread as gluten free.
On our next trip (and a differen’t Zehrs location) we made a beeline for my favourite GF cookies. Again, they’re shelved neatly…this time with bagels in between. I’m draftly a strongly worded letter as we speak.

So a word of caution to those who also enjoy these products. I guess it’s the same word of caution I usually give…Please, please read your labels each and every time!

How to Navigate the GF Journey

I am very excited to announce the newest resource in the Gluten Free Community!

“Newly diagnosed Celiac and don’t know where to begin? This informative Ecourse provides great tips and tricks for rocking the GF Journey to the best of your ability! Topics include how to read labels, recognizing possible cross contamination hazards and identifying your resources in the GF community.”

The seven session course is available for an introductory special of $9.99 which includes bonus recipes.
Plus refer a friend and get a chance to win a GF gift basket!

Email simplyceliac@live.ca to subscribe.

US Labeling Laws

It all started in 2007. A Tuesday, I believe; there was rain in the forecast. Ok, just kidding. (wrong blog)
But it was the year that the US FDA first discussed governing Gluten Free labeling.
Fast forward to today and you’ll see very little progress made in the last six years. Well, they tell us that’s about to change. (Of course, their goal was to have this in effect by the end of 2012 sooo….)

Until the FDA formally adopts a rule on what is identified as gluten free, there are no clear labeling regulations; therefore those with Celiac can not be confident what they are purchasing is indeed gluten free.

To put some pressure on the FDA, the world’s tallest GF cake was created in Washington, DC. Who doesn’t love cake? You’ve got to see the pics of this!
To support this important cause, and for more info, check out what 1in133.org is up to:
1in133.org - Support Cupcakes For A Cause

Product Review: Allergic Solution Mixes

One of the things my kids love most since I’ve been diagnosed as Celiac is the opportunity to try new sweets and treats. One of my daughters also loves baking and has been right beside me as my taste tester and “Gee Eff Baker Extraordinaire”.
So when we had the chance to bake with Allergic Solution mixes recently, the rest of the fam was happy to try her creations.
We started with the vanilla cake mix and made cupcakes. It`s very cool that all four mixes from this company are diabetic friendly and vegan, as well as free of all the major allergens. It was also great that the cupcakes were peanut free as my GFBE (see above) has a bestie with a severe allergy so our school is peanut aware.
Now, I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I choose to ice our cupcakes. The packaging specifically mentions in the directions that any type of sugar can be used in the mix, as well as a range in the quantity so diabetics can adjust to suit their needs accordingly.

In Ontario today, we have Family Day. It`s a perfect day for my GFBE to get back in the kitchen to help make a Carob Cake!

Campbell’s GF Product List…Mmm Mmm Good!

I am so pleased to share this with you; Campbell’s updated Gluten Free Product List!
There are things listed I didn’t know were GF: Clam Chowder, some Chunky soups-way to go, Campbell Canada!
As always, please remember to read the labels each time. You just never know when a product will be manufactured differently.

http://www.campbellsoup.ca/en-ca/gluten-free-products.pdf

Product Review: Mayacamas Gravy

We stumbled on this little treasure and ever since, it’s become a regular in our household. Mayacamas Gravy mix is vegetarian, gluten free with no trans fats. There`s a good selection of flavours, including turkey, chicken and the traditional brown.

And it tastes good! The turkey is pretty similar to one I would`ve had in my gluten days.

With a reasonable price point, this gravy mix is just $1.19. It`s a little hard to come by though, as we`ve only found one grocery store locally that carries it.

A definite must for Sunday dinners!

www.mayacamasfinefoods.com

Leaving on a Jet Plane

We’re taking a family vacation.

Any “good” Celiac will tell you they call a restaurant ahead of time to ensure they can receive gluten free meals and service. (or if they have a fabulous husband like I do, he does the calling) And any “good” Celiac will tell you they bring their own food or snacks to a potluck, work event, or anything that requires multiple cooks preparing food. And any “good” Celiac realizes that stress is horrible for their health and learns ways to manage it so they don’t inadvertently cause the same symptoms they are trying to avoid.

Friends…I am not a good Celiac.

It’s time to face this fact. And although I have studied the resort menu the best I can, and my husband has printed off our spanish GF cards, I have no idea what I’m going to eat. So, I’ve packed my Honey Nut Chex and a small jar of peanut butter. Seriously, I did. But that hasn’t relieved my anxiety about eating somewhere new. (In case you’re just tuning in…stress=bad) So who gets gluten-like symptoms just before they say adios to the snow?? Sad, but true.

Ok, new plan. It’s all in the attitude, right?

Most of the little fruity drinks that come with the umbrella? Gluten free Baby! Maybe I’ll just stick with those…

 

 

 

January Brings New GF Goal for Ryan Seacreast and Others

Well, like it or not, we’re all back into our regular routines by now. Some of us may have announced New Year’s Resolutions and among the declared goals are…you guessed it, a gluten free diet!

Let me start by saying I certainly wouldn’t discourage someone from going gluten free. In fact, I actually advocate for it due to the health benefits I’ve seen in non-celiacs. But folks (Yes, Ryan Seacrest, I’m talking to YOU) you aren’t gluten free because you had a fruit salad for lunch! If you fall victim to an  “everything bagel” within an hour of your tweet/declaration, all you’re doing is annoying the celiacs.

If you’ve decided it’s time to elminate the gluten in your life, give it a chance. It won’t take long before you start to see results and in fact the improvements may surprise you.

Yes, there is temptation. There is frustration. But you can do it! Just do it one GF step at a time.

Ryan, have your people call me if you need help….

 

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