July 10, 2016

The Gluten-Free Sunscreen List

Using a gluten-free sunscreen is a personal choice. Not everyone is going to want to and that's okay. I prefer to ensure gluten is nowhere to be found when it comes to skin, hair, and lip products. Call me old fashioned but, better safe than sorry is a term I happily roll with.


If It's On Your Face Or Hands, It's In Your Mouth



Think about those hot and sticky days where sweat is constant and unavoidable. That sunscreen is going to be sliding everywhere. How many times will your sunscreen coated hands wind up near your mouth without you noticing? Likely more than you think, meaning accidental ingestion is pretty darn probable. Not something that sounds appealing to me. 

This is why I prefer to stick with gluten-free protection. Some of the brands below are easily found in stores and others can be purchased online. I'm happy to see not only a decent choice in variety but, varying price points as well.






May 26, 2016

The Gluten-Free Move

We all know that traveling takes some research and preparation when you have Celiac. Did you know that selling your home requires the very same detail? I sure didn't!

I listed my home for sale, sold it and bought a new place all in two short months. Talk about stressful! I wasn't prepared for was the amount of time I would have to be out of my home. Or the lack of safe on the fly, gluten-free options available to me. I was one hungry and grumpy lady for  a little while there.

In retrospect, there is quite a bit I could have done in advance to make things easier on myself. I've created the list below to help you avoid having a hungry meltdown.




Make a list of safe places to eat


This is super important. Otherwise, you will end up hangry and not one wants that. More than a few times, I watched as my family ate a lovely meal somewhere that could not accommodate me. You should also research what menu options are available for you. I cannot tell you how tired I am of french fries, baked potato, & hash browns. 

Prepare picnic lunches


Bento-style containers, like the ones below, make for an easy on the go meal. I suggest preparing a few days worth of meals ahead of time. You will thank yourself for this in the long run. Trust me.

Lunchbox friendly ideas include: 
bagels, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables with dip, yogurt, and muffins. Just make sure you have a cold icepack ready to go.

Have prepackaged, shelf-stable food on hand


Some great example include :
  • Justin's Hazelnut Butter & Pretzels snack packs
  • Popcorn and M&M mixture
  • Dehydrated fruit such as raisins, cranberries, and apples
  • Plain cereal, like Cinnamon Chex, makes a great snack
  • Rice Cereal treats
  • Jerky
Check out my post-Easy Eats For A Gluten Free Trip for more great snacks to have on hand.


Kitchen's are the heart of the home


We looked at several houses before we found "the one". The winning home had everything we wanted, especially a fantastic kitchen, which is bright, big and has a lot of counter space. This was a big deal for me as my current kitchen is tiny and poorly laid out. Having a larger kitchen=safety. There's room to store my gluten-free food (on its own) and a separate area in which I can prepare it.

Whether you're entertaining friends or playing board games with the kiddos, kitchens have become more than just a spot to cook and eat. They are the social heart of the home, a family space where everyone ends up. If you are looking for a new home, make sure you love the kitchen!





April 18, 2016

Interview With Gluten Free Garage's Ronnilyn Pustil & Contest

May 1st marks the beginning of Celiac Awareness Month. If you live in the greater Toronto area or are up for a drive, you need to check out Gluten Free Garage.

Although 2016 marks the event's fifth year, it will be my first time attending and I am super excited!


This event is sort of like a farmers market meets a pop-up shop. It brings together the gluten-free community for a great cause. Plus, you will have the opportunity to discover local vendors, sample goodies and listen to some amazing guest speakers.


March 23, 2016

Product Review: Mi & Stu




I recently had the opportunity to sample some gluten-free treats from Mi & Stu. If you reside outside of Quebec, you may not be familiar with this cool little bakery. I think it's time for that to change, don't you? Mi & Stu is located in LaSalle, Quebec and run by the lovely Mimi and Stephanie. You can find their products in select grocery stores, restaurants and on major International Airlines such as Air France, Lufthansa, KLM, Qatar. It's comforting to know that safe gluten-free food is available when traveling by air.

Mi & Stu is more than just gluten-free. They also avoid using nuts, casein, and whey in their products. This allows those with one or more dietary restrictions to enjoy the products.

March 12, 2016

Quick Guide To Canada's Gluten-Free Tax Credit



Did you know that in Canada, there is a slight tax break available for those who need to consume gluten-free food? The Canadian Revenue Agency allows a tax deduction for the purchase of gluten-free goods. This is really helpful as we all know how ridiculously expensive the gluten-free diet can be.


Who Qualifies

  • You must be diagnosed with Celiac disease & requiring a gluten-free diet by an authorized medical practitioner 
  • You need to have a note from your physician on his or her letterhead, confirming diagnosis 
  • Total medical expense must exceed 3% of net income


How It Works


There is a fair bit of effort involved
  • Keep receipts for gluten-free items purchased throughout the year
  • You will need to calculate the incremental difference between GF and non-GF items on an item by item basis
  • This is done by subtracting the cost of a non-GF item from a GF item


Example per Canada Revenue Agency website


1. Item: bread
2. Number of items purchased: 52
3. Average cost of non-GF product: $3.49
4. Average cost of GF product: $6.99
5. Incremental cost (line 4 minus line 3): $6.99 - $3.49 = $3.50
6. Amount to claim (line 5 multiplied by line 2): $3.50 x 52 = $182.00

 Tips


  •  Highlight the gluten-free items on your receipts or keep gluten-free purchase separate from non-GF purchases
  • Keep your receipts organized in a folder and away from the sun
  • Use a spreadsheet to itemize and calculate
  • If you add to your spreadsheet with every gluten-free grocery shop, you will save time and avoid a headache
  • Save a copy of the spreadsheet for your records
  • Be patient