May is Celiac Awareness Month! Check out 2015 Actvities

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May is the biggest month of the year for the gluten free community because it is Celiac Awareness Month.  The Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter is the busiest raising awareness about the disease by visiting various venues across the city to answer questions about Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet.

Check out the flyer below from the Edmonton Chapter to learn more about the festivities around the city.  So if you have questions about Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet, find the volunteers from the Edmonton Chapter at one of thee information tables and have a chat.

You can learn more about Celiac Disease at

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More meat at MEAT... gluten free too!

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Meat is a newer smoked meat restaurant in Edmonton that we've been wanting to try for a while.  Meat is owned by the same peeps as Next Act Pub which is right next door.  So we knew they were going to be gluten free friendly.

When they first opened, they were only open for dinner, so we were finding it hard to go and try it out.  Finally once afternoon after visiting the Old Strathcona market we were going to check out Next Act Pub for lunch when we noticed Meat was actually opened for brunch!  Nice!

The setup is quite the opposite of the hip arts vibe of Next Act.  The restaurant is setup with long benches that you get seated at.  Sometimes on your own, sometimes shared with others.

To be honest, we don't know what the dinner menu looks like, because we only saw the brunch menu but there was lots to choose from.

Amanda ordered the eggs benny with brisket with hashbrown on a gluten free bun.  The hollandaise was gluten free.  It tasted as good as it looks.

We also order the yam and potato hash with andouille sausage and pouched egg.  Our two year old loved this.  The sausage had some kick, but she powered through it.  I gave her some of my brisket eventually because it was yummy and she went to town on it.

Everything tasted amazing. They also have a brisket, pulled pork or shredded chicken sandwich you can get on a gluten free bun for Brunch.

We will be back for another Meat fest!

Meat on Urbanspoon

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The Gluten-Free Teacher eBook from the

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This is a sponsored post from Gluten-Free Teacher

You might have heard about the gluten-free diet that is currently very popular. ‘Gluten-Free Teacher’ tells you all you need to know about the origins of this diet, its benefits and drawbacks, and how you can change your lifestyle to adopt a gluten-free diet.

What is the reason behind the gluten-free diet’s continued popularity? Gluten is often found on the list of foods to avoid for the anti-inflammation diet, and it’s listed as one of the foods to be avoided in diets such as Paleo. The main reason is Celiac disease, an auto-immune condition where the body begins attacking itself when it recognizes the gluten protein in the digestive tract. Unfortunately, 95 percent of the people who have Celiac disease are undiagnosed; they do not even know that they have it. Therefore, most people see immediate results when they go on a gluten-free diet.

The book ‘Gluten-Free Teacher’ goes into all the reasons why you should consider going on a gluten-free diet. Most people decide to do so after a diagnosis of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (or NCGS) or a type of auto-immune or inflammatory disease such as arthritis that responds well to a gluten free diet. Similarly, many people have decided to live a healthier lifestyle by giving up gluten containing foods.

‘Gluten-Free Teacher’ also contains ways to find out and test whether or not you have gluten sensitivity. One of the best ways to do so is to keep a food diary for two weeks to track the pattern. A lot of dieticians recommend doing the same if you suspect that you have gluten sensitivity. Another way is the elimination diet. ‘Gluten-Free Teacher’ goes into great detail about the elimination diet, where you remove a food or foods from your diet for roughly two weeks, then try eating them again one at a time to see if your symptoms return.

Benefits of going Gluten-free

There are many symptoms that reducing or eliminating gluten can help alleviate, including: fatigue, anemia, migraines and other headaches, muscle and joint pain, and digestive ailments including constipation and diarrhea.

The ‘Gluten-Free Teacher’ focuses on the benefits of going gluten-free. These include:

Digestive health: Gluten is a possible cause for many digestive ailments, from stomach aches to chronic constipation. Going gluten free is a solution that works great for most people suffering from common stomach problems.

More energy: Gluten has been linked to more insulin production in the body, which causes a “crash” or in fatigue after you eat it. By removing gluten from your diet and replacing it with other whole foods, you can get more steady energy all day long.

Better overall health: Gluten is an inflammatory food - it could be contributing to things like high cholesterol, obesity, Type II diabetes, and chronic pain in your body without your awareness.
Removing gluten from your diet forces you to examine the food that you eat each day, giving you a chance to make better choices each and every time you eat. By replacing the gluten and gluten-containing processed foods in your diet with whole foods that are naturally gluten free, you can help achieve better overall health.

How to go on a Gluten Free Diet

It has been proven conclusively that a gluten free diet is great for your body. However, there is a shortage of information on how exactly to go on (and stay on) this diet. ‘Gluten-Free Teacher’ has everything from meal plans and recipes to shopping lists. It is a wonderful resource for beginners as well as people who have been living gluten-free for years.

The meal plans for a gluten-free diet have numerous options available to give you a flavorful and varied menu. There is also a chapter on a gluten free diet for vegans.

Many grains and starches including rice, corn, buckwheat, and tapioca are also gluten free, allowing you to eat a rich and varied diet. ‘Gluten-Free Teacher’ provides valuable information, such as how to avoid eggs and dairy in your gluten free baked goods by using chia seeds mixed with water or high-protein flours, including almond flour or coconut flour. The book contains a gluten free vegan meal plan and many recipes, including a Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie. There are additional links to some of the most delicious gluten free vegan recipes available online.

There is even something for the techies: the book contains a list of apps that can help you maintain a gluten-free lifestyle. These include LifeCafe, which allows you to scan barcodes on packaged food items then tells you if a product contains gluten or not.

Whether you are considering going on a gluten-free diet but need that extra push, or simply confused what the big deal about this diet is, ‘Gluten-Free Teacher’ answers all your questions in a fun, easy-to-read format. This book is a how-to guide on everything gluten-free, enabling you to be a part of the healthy ‘gluten-free’ lifestyle.

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Gluten Free Solo Energy Bar

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We were sent samples of some Solo Energy Bar's because they are gluten free. Even if its a product I don't really eat, I'm always willing to write about samples, why not?  Amanda and I don't eat many energy bars.  Infact, if we do it is usually a Lara Bar.  Are those even energy bars? We usually call them a snack bar. Either way Lara Bars are the only comparison I really have and these lived up to a Lara Bar.

So first, read about some of the health benefits of an energy bar from Solo.  As I mentioned, we look at them as snack bars vs. energy bars since we don't eat it for its intent.

Solo sent us a number of flavours including some new flavours:

  • Peanut Power
  • Lemon Lift
  • Mocha Fudge
  • Dark Chocolate Almond.
  • Apple Cinnamon with Quinoa
To be honest they were all pretty good and lots of flavour.  What struck me the most was the texture. Solo bars are date based like Lara bars but had more of snack bar texture than the chewy date texture.

If you like snack bars or energy bars, you could give these a try.  My favourite was the Apple Cinnamon, but like I said, all tasted good.

You can find these at Rexall, Shoppers, London Drugs and Superstore.

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Blue Willow Restaurant Offers Up Some Gluten Free Options For Chinese Food

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The Mongolian Beef is indicated as
gluten free on the
Blue Willow Restaurant menu
To this date, the only place for gluten free options when it comes to traditional Chinese Food has been Pearly River in the south side of Edmonton.  One of our readers SQ wrote in another option with the downtown staple Blue Willow Restaurant.

I ate a delicious Chinese meal at Blue Willow Restaurant in downtown Edmonton last night and didn’t get sick --- so happy!  They have several GF dishes on their menu, easily identified by a “G” beside the menu item.  Apparently about 10% of their customers make enquiries about GF dishes.  I was the only person with celiac disease at the table.  We ordered 5 dishes, plus rice;  two of the dishes we ordered were GF.  Everything was super-hot, fresh, and delicious.

Out of curiosity I visited their website and saw that even their online menu indicates gluten free options that are available.  Their menu also tells the customer to let the server staff know of any allergies.  Check out the Blue Willow Restaurant menu and plan out your next gluten free Chinese Food Takeout order.

  Blue Willow on Urbanspoon

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Warning, Spicy Spicy Spicy at Chutney Restaurant in Lessard Mall

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We live near a small mall called Lessard Mall.  It really just looks like a plaza.  Hidden in the mall, is Chutney, a Pakistani/Indian Restaurant.  What's the difference between Indian and Pakistani?  I can tell you after speaking with a friend, it is the spice.  No matter how little spice you ask for, it is spicy.  So just be warned, this is a good meal, but very spicy.

We order the Peshawari Platter which was $40 and could have served 4.  The food was really tasty, and realy spicy, so it is not for everyone.  We also had an order of papadom (a chickpea flour chip), instead of having Naan.  If it wasn't so spicy, I would order it again, but Amanda does not like food to spicy.

So a few things to know when ordering...

The owner is really friendly and understands the gluten free diet.  The platter we ordered had to be modified because not all of the kababs were gluten free.  Be sure to ask.  Also pakora us usually made with chickpea flour, but he uses a blend.  He will make the pakora with pea flour only.  It was really tasty.  That was basically the only substitute.  The kababs were the only things really spicy from the platter.  So ask for extra yogurt to sooth the spice and enjoy!

Chutney on Urbanspoon

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