3rd Annual Career Education & Settlement Fair

The 3rd annual Scotiabank Career Education & Settlement Fair took place on Monday, November 16th. We were thrilled to contribute our gluten-free, vegan products to this important event, keeping exhibitors fuelled with healthy snacks throughout the day.

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As a small local company whose founder immigrated from Georgia and built our business from the ground-up, helping new Canadians find their footing in our community is a cause very close to our hearts. We hope to be a part of this event and similar community initiatives in the future.

Are you planning a local philanthropic event and think Glutenull’s products would be a great fit for your silent auction, snack table or giveaways? Contact Emelie at emelie@glutenull.com.

We are hiring!

Love the health food and healthy living industry? Want to work for a small and growing local company?
We are looking for a self-motivated, energetic and flexible individual with 1-2 years office experience and great administrative skills. Although we love to see experienced applicants, with the right attitude many of the daily tasks can be learned.

Qualifications required:

  • Self initiative and drive
  • Passion for the position and the industry
  • Outgoing and extroverted personality
  • Speak, read, write English fluently
  • Excellent telephone manner is a must to represent our company in a professional and dignified manner
  • Perform repetitive tasks well
  • Work with MS Windows, MS Word, MS Excel, general office equipment
  • Ability to conduct data entry, with high attention to detail and accuracy
  • Experience in grocery, bakery, health food industries a huge asset
  • Experience with Simply Accounting another very important asset
  • Have a friendly personality
  • Work well in a team environment and/or independently

Does this sound like you? Then go ahead and send us a tailored resume and cover letter, tell us why you are interested in this position and what you will bring to our small company with a big heart. Send to info@glutenull.com. No phone calls please.

About Us:
We are a local gluten-free, vegan, yeast-free bakery specializing in delicious breads, muffins, granolas, energy bars and cookies. Our products are made with 100% GMO-free, natural ingredients and are a great fit for specialty diets.

History:
Otari Kobalia, owner of Glutenull Bakery, has been a vegetarian since his early 20s and a bakery entrepreneur since his arrival in Canada from his home country Georgia. Knowing the difficulties of finding healthy and great tasting foods when on a vegan, gluten-free, yeast-free diet, Otari set out to solve this problem for his customers.

Products:
Our products are made with premium natural ingredients, 100% free of GMOs. Our breads are sugar free and low in starch and our bars, muffins and cookies are naturally sweetened and packed with organic, energy-boosting ingredients. Our products are perfect for those on specialty diets including celiac, gluten intolerant, candida, raw, non-lactose, diabetic and non-GMO.

Learn more:
Facebook: Glutenull Gluten Free Breads
Twitter: @GlutenullBreads
Instagram: glutenull_bakery
Pinterest: GluteNull Bakery
Website: www.glutenull.com

Details: Full-time position (Monday-Friday), office located in Coquitlam.

Wrapping up celiac awareness month with Jess of The Gluten Free Adventure

Today is the last day of Celiac Awareness Month and we’ve had a blast featuring celiac bloggers and their tips for living gluten-free. Last but definitely not least, celiac blogger, super-mom and cheerleader for us living the gluten-free life, Jessica!

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

I’d love to tell you a sweet story of the easy transition from living in a world of gluten, to being happily gluten free.  In this precious rendition, I would tell you that when you take the leap to eat gluten free you will instantly feel better.  You’ll body will morph into that of a supermodel or superhero, your choice, and you will never miss the old gluten-containing foods you used to love.  But those things might not be true for you.  Those things might not be true for anybody!   Let me tell you what is true though – if you have Celiac Disease, the long term benefit of eliminating gluten from your life will be oh-so worth it.  Like rest after a long night-shift, a good night’s sleep as a new mom, aloe vera gel on a sun burn.  Your body will thank you for your commitment to actually live free of gluten! And, let me tell you something crazy – it is entirely possible to never eat gluten again, and firmly believe that food is amazing.  In our family, we are serious foodies – even our kids.  We love to eat, and although we haven’t touched gluten in 6 years we don’t feel like we are missing out on anything – isn’t it wild that gluten free food can be so good!?

We all know that making any big change in life is hard, and this is no exception – while you will eventually find yourself in a blissful world of gluten free food, it will take some time.  This is an important change and not just one that you’ll want to last for a month or two – it’s a change that will likely serve you best if it lasts a lifetime.  This means that one of the most important things is to take the most efficient route from being deprived, to thriving.  I have 4 tips for you to help you tackle this challenge, and I’m here cheering you on all the way!

 
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1. Look ahead six months on your calendar, and mark that day.  You’re about to have a huge learning curve – not only learning, but changing habits, restructuring your social life, and figuring out exactly how to mesh the ideas of being gluten free and also enjoying life.  It. Is. Possible. I promise!  But it will take some time, so mark that date on your calendar and if you can trust me and hang in there until then, the hardest part will be behind you!

(if you’re stuck on ‘restructuring your social life’, take a deep breath.  You don’t have to choose new, gluten free friends, but you will have to switch up a few of your pastimes, or at least how you approach them.  If you solve your marital problems by picking up an Orange Julius and taking a stroll around the mall, like we did (pre-celiac diagnosis), you’re going to want to find a new tactic.  If you love having potlucks with your friends, you’ll just want to learn to navigate that a little bit differently.  If your Friday nights are best spent at your favorite restaurant, fret-not, you will still be able to go out and enjoy food, you will just need to either work with your favorite restaurant to create some gluten free options and practices to keep you safe, or find a new favorite place that already knows their stuff!)

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2. Find a go-to food for the time being, to bridge the gap between eliminating your old favorites and finding your new ones.  For me, it was crepes – I would whisk up some rice flour, tapioca flour, an egg and a little bit of almond milk and crepe it up.  Add some maple syrup on top and I felt super satisfied!  I must have made crepes daily for the first couple of months after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and it’s what I went to in a pinch – if someone around me was snacking on something that looked good, I made crepes.  If I came home and was so hungry I couldn’t figure out what to make to eat, I would make crepes to tide me over.  If I was feeling sorry for myself in the evening and dreaming of eating one of my old favs, I made crepes.  You get the picture!  It needs to be something accessible, and quick.  It doesn’t have to be homemade, and it doesn’t have to be healthy.  Hear me out – I am all for eating great, nutritious meals and snacks made from whole, healthy ingredients… But you can’t conquer the world all in one day.  In this season of your life, your focus is on setting down some gluten free roots that you can actually stick to, that have longevity.  There is plenty of time for healthy, but this go-to snack is more about indulgence and mental health!

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3. Don’t let yourself get hungry – that’s where the unravelling happens!  And it usually happens when you’re out and about, without your kitchen cupboard or fridge within reach – and if you’re anything like me, I’m an ugly crier and being out in public for a hungry meltdown is a bad scene!  I would strongly suggest that you invest in a cooler – one that you like.  I even dare you to splurge on it a little.  You are about to pack more food on a daily basis than you ever imagined necessary, and you’ll be packing that cooler with you everywhere you go – or at least that’s what I’d recommend!  Bring something with you every time you leave the house to help you avoid those wild moments where hungry meets exhausted on the corner of overwhelmed.  It will be an ugly encounter so do your due diligence and pack snacks!

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4. Last but not least, while you are about to live a gluten-free lifestyle (or maybe you’ve already begun), that part of your life will eventually become just a small part of what makes up your great self.  Right now it feels huge, but eventually, once you get the hang of it, it will fade into being just one piece of the puzzle of your life.  The danger is becoming Mr. or Mrs. Gluten Free.  We’ve all met them – the ones who try to educate everyone in sight about the ins and outs of being g.f., who get angry at a restaurant for not having a gluten free menu, who lecture other people on how they, too, should stop eating gluten, and regardless of where they are, their favorite words are ‘Gluten Free… Gluten free…. Gluten free…”.  Yes, we are an amazing group of people and we have to work darn hard to take care of our bodies and keep the wild gluten at bay.  I am your biggest fan and the biggest fan of you doing what is going to give you the best chance at wellness – and the reality is, for many, people (if not all) eliminating gluten is at least a part of that solution.  But not everyone wants to hear that, and not everyone is ready to for your journey to be their own.  So have grace for the people around you – never eat something you don’t feel confident is completely gluten free, but at the same time, don’t hold that against the rest of the world who will never be as educated on the topic as you and I are.  When you encounter restaurant staff who doesn’t understand what your needs are, remember it’s not their responsibility to know your condition as well as you do.  Thank them for being honest that they can’t cater to your needs, and go find another restaurant – on an adventure, not a rampage.  You are your own advocate, so ask the questions, and make the best choices you can with what you’ve learned.  Try to take a deep breath and know that you will find great things to eat, and great places to eat out.  Your friends and family will eventually get it, but have grace and patience, it will take some time.

It will all get better with time, so look forward to that date on your calendar, find a go-to bit of gluten free deliciousness and hold tight to that.  Pack snacks and get to know your quick pick-up options, and breathe.  Like a big glass of water after a run on a hot day, like climbing in the hot tub when you’re chilled to the bone.  Relief will come and you will live a longer, healthier life as a result of your choice and commitment to turn the gluten free corner.  After all, we have one of the only diseases that can be completely controlled by our choices – we’re pretty lucky!  So great call on taking care of yourself, friend, you are giving a great gift to yourself, and to the people who love you.  You can do it, I’m cheering you on big time!

 

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Tips for newly diagnosed celiacs

Headshot-LisaIntroducing Celiac Awareness Month guest blogger Lisa Cantkier, holistic nutritionist and celiac specializing in food allergies and special diets!

I became very sick at about 18 months old and suffered from unexplained chronic diarrhea, following eating. I had severe weight loss, was malnourished and was failing to thrive. I became very sick and my parents took me to every specialist under the sun to find out why I was so ill. Eventually, I was hospitalized and misdiagnosed with terminal cancer (the source of the cancer was unknown) and I was given a few weeks to live.

While I was in hospital, a banana ended up saving my life—literally. I chose to eat it one day and it was the first time in months that food hadn’t made me sick! Luckily, the nurses and doctors suspected the cause of my illness was food. This led to a bowel biopsy which confirmed celiac disease. I began following a gluten-free diet and got well fairly quickly.

Growing up gluten-free back in the 80’s was difficult to say the least. There was a true lack of support, gluten-free products (there was only one manufacturer in Canada), recipes and cookbooks. The internet did not yet exist and of course, nor did social media. But, my family learned to cope and so did I.

Living with celiac disease today is so much easier in comparison to when I was growing up.

Here are five tips to help make things even easier:

1. Join a local celiac support group!
You will be amazed by how much you can learn from the many non-profit support groups available. Make an effort to attend workshops and events—you’ll make new friends and have fun.

2. Monitor your nutrients!
I do my best to monitor various nutrient levels about every six months, especially vitamin B12 and iron. I continue to take various supplements that my body needs, on the advice of my naturopath.

3. Eat clean!
Avoid gluten-containing grains and sugar, as well as hidden sources!
I try to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle the best I can—I reach for clean, whole, unprocessed foods and steer clear of refined sugar and grains as much as possible. Get an ingredient dictionary to better understand what you are and are not allowed.

4. Learn to prevent cross-contamination.
This concept is can be a learning curve, but you need to start somewhere. According to the Canadian Celiac Association, “Anywhere you see crumbs is a potential place for cross-contamination.” For example, counter tops, cutting boards, microwaves, toaster ovens and margarine containers and containers with other spreads can be major culprits. Get your own toaster and cutting board. Boil, bake, fry and cook separately. Having your food (especially protein sources) cooked on foil when dining out will help with prevention of cross contamination.

5. Try new recipes.
There are so many delicious, healthy gluten-free, grain-free and Paleo recipes available online, thanks to gluten-free food bloggers, chefs and cookbook authors that take the time to share their creations. Take the time to try out new recipes that look appealing, and have fun with it!

Lisa Cantkier is a holistic nutritionist and a lifelong celiac who specializes in food allergies and special diets. For more information, visit LisaCantkier.com

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Journey from Diagnosis to Gluten-Free Juggernaut

Celiac Scene Photo 2Introducing our first Celiac Awareness Month blogger, Ellen Bayens!

Ellen is the Founder and President of The Celiac Scene™, the go-to gluten-free resource for Victoria, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.  Referred to as a ‘Remarkable Celiac’ by the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) , Ellen speaks first hand and with infectious humour about the challenges of the diet and how they can become the gateway to good health. As Past Vice-President of the Victoria Chapter (CCA) and ‘British Columbia’s Gluten-Free Ambassador,’ she has been featured in Gluten Free Living, Allergic Living and Delight Gluten Free magazines. Ellen is a frequent commentator on TV, radio and print as she shares her enthusiasm for gluten-free living with restaurants, retailers and industry experts keen to ‘Get Gluten Free Right.’ Here is Ellen’s “Journey from Diagnosis to Gluten-Free Juggernaut!”

The story begins with the Japanese occupation of Indonesia from 1942-45 when, as a Dutch citizen born in Java, my mother was interned for four years in a prisoner-of-war camp along with my grandmother and uncle. As a POW, she subsisted on meagre diet of rice and few vegetables before repatriating to the Netherlands and adopting a largely wheat-based diet. Instead of regaining weight, she began to lose even more.  Her diagnosis with Hashimoto’s disease offered an explanation, as did her subsequent diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus Type I and the complications thereof. Unfortunately, it would 40 more years before the disorder that likely plagued her since her teens – Celiac disease – would be identified. Like many who struggle for an explanation for and respite from symptoms, my mother paid a price for consuming gluten for 40 years, developing a form of Parkinsonism that robbed her of her mobility and ultimately, the digestive cancer that took her life.

Fast forward to my own diagnosis at the age of 45. Even with a history of Celiac disease in my family, I was unaware that I was pre-disposed to developing it myself. I was a healthy, physically fit and the happy mom to two fabulous children. A switch to a new GP and a complete physical revealed that my liver enzymes were alarmingly elevated. The doctor began to ask questions-How much alcohol did I drink? Was I a covert intravenous drug user?  Could the protein shakes I consumed daily contain steroids? After two years of aspersions on my lifestyle and still in otherwise excellent health, I finally agreed to a liver biopsy to appease my concerned physician. During the procedure, and despite being guided by ultra-sound technology, the specialist inadvertently perforated my liver and retrieved cells from my small intestine that revealed the classic presentation of Celiac disease. Subsequent blood testing confirmed that I had the antibodies associated with this chronic auto-immune condition.

I could not turn the page fast enough!  Not only did I have a diagnosis, I knew from my caring for my mother exactly how to effect a complete and permanent recovery. The gluten-free diet!  My children and siblings undertook – and passed – pre-screening blood test recommended to family members of diagnosed celiacs.  They are in great health today but are well aware that should they  develop any of the more than 200 symptoms of associated with celiac disease or one or more of the autoimmunCeliac Scene Photo 1e
disorders that are known to co-occur with it, they need only mention their family’s medical history to enjoy their own expedited diagnosis.

In the ensuing 13 years since I turned that page, I have parlayed my passion for assisting others fortunate enough to be diagnosed – and the 97% of celiacs who never are. I am dedicated to empowering anyone and everyone who wants or needs it, with the information that exists within our community.  Instead of looking back, I encourage others to look forward to renewed health, and a second chance to enjoy a great life – the gluten-free way!
For the very best information on Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and the sister disease, ’ Dermatitis herpetiformis, I highly recommend https://www.glutenfreediet.ca by Shelley Case RD, ‘North America’s Gluten-Free Nutrition Expert’ as well as the excellent information made available at https://www.gluten.org/resources/getting-started.

Ellen Bayens

www.TheCeliacScene.com
ellen@theceliacscene.com
www.facebook.com/TheCeliacScene
www.facebook.com/groups/CeliacParents
www.meetup.com/Gluten-Free-Foodies
www.twitter.com/TheCeliacScene
www.pinterest.com/theceliacscene

 

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