Posts Categorized: GFG speaker!

from the mouth of a gf babe

This is Lily.

 

A few things about her:

She likes to read, draw and swim.

She takes dance lessons (hip hop) and plays on a basketball team.

She speaks French.

She has a younger sister who is the bomb.

She loves her tiny dog Chiquita.

Her favourite food is rice (brown and white)—in sushi, fried or just plain steamed.

Her favourite subject in school is math.

She has celiac disease. She was diagnosed when she was three.

On the morning of her 11th birthday, Lily woke up with a stuffy nose. When asked what she thinks it means to have a cold on her birthday, she replied, without missing a beat: “It’s going to be a SICK year!”

That’s Lily, always making lemonade out of lemons. See for yourself.

What is celiac disease?
It’s a disease that affects your gut [specifically your small intestine]. What happens is when you eat gluten, it doesn’t sit well with your gut and your body gets angry and tries to get it out. Some people have symptoms and there are many different kinds of symptoms—I throw up, get bloated and get bad stomach aches. Some people don’t get symptoms, but it’s still doing damage inside of them.

[For a more complete definition of celiac disease, go to www.celiac.ca]

What is gluten?
It’s a protein that’s in found in certain grains, like wheat, rye, spelt, kamut and barley. When I was younger my mom and I made a sign out of stickers with these words and taped it up in the kitchen to help me learn how to read them. It’s really important to read ingredients and not just assume something is safe to eat, unless it’s a fruit or vegetable of course.

 

 

Do you remember when you found out you had celiac?
I was only three, so I didn’t really know what was happening to me. I was getting sick (barfing) every night and I had lots of stomach pain. Then I remember one day we were at the doctor’s office and I was getting my blood taken. That’s how we found out I have celiac disease. After I stopped eating gluten I felt much better. My hair started to grow and I started to grow.

Was it hard when you first went gluten free?
I don’t think I really noticed a change in my diet, except I remember asking my mom for the Puffins cereal I loved and she said “no more Puffins” and I got really upset with her. But I don’t remember my parents having to say “no” a lot. I just remember them giving me food to eat and I was happy.

How do you feel now, after being gluten free for eight years?
I feel fine.

Your hair is really long now.
Yeah! It keeps growing!

What’s it like to eat gluten free all the time?
I don’t really notice. I don’t really remember eating gluten. Sure, I see my friends eating it, but I feel like I have food that tastes better, I bet, and it looks better. You can always find something that is gluten free, so I can eat just about anything. Basically I don’t think that my diet defines me. It’s part of me, but it’s not me.

Are there ever times when you wish you didn’t have to be gluten free?
Not really, because I can basically have the same foods as everyone else, except they’re gluten free. There’s always a replacement. Sometimes I do feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I want to eat something with gluten, but then I remind myself that somewhere in the world there is a gluten-free version of the same thing. I just have to find it. Plus, I just think about how sick I’ll get if I eat it. It’s not worth it.

When was the last time you got glutened?
I was in Florida at a hotel and they said that there was a gluten-free buffet table and that everything would be safe. There was even a dedicated gluten-free toaster! I ate a bagel, muffin and fruit. At the beach, my stomach starting hurting but I sort of ignored it and didn’t think much about it. And then I started feeling really nauseous and told my mom. My stomach started to really hurt so we went back to our hotel room and I started barfing all over the place. Then I took a nap.

Do you prefer eating in or going out?
Eating at home is so easy. Our house is totally gluten free because we don’t want me getting cross-contaminated or eating something with gluten by accident.

I love going to restaurants and I have my favourites. But sometimes when we eat out my parents make a big fuss about things. I know they’re just trying to make sure the food is safe for me, but it embarrasses me.

What would you tell a friend who finds out that they have celiac disease?
That it’s not that big of a deal. You can always adapt to it. In a few weeks, you’ll think it’s natural.

I’d also recommend some bakeries. Almond Butterfly has the best bagels and cupcakes. Bunner’s has the best cinnamon buns. Cock-A-Doodle-Doo has the best muffins. Sorelle and Co. has the best donuts. And I love Tori’s cupcake with a donut on top.

Do you have any friends who also have celiac disease?
I have a few friends who have celiac disease. We tell each other about great restaurants we’ve been to.

What are your top 3 restaurants?
I can’t name just three. There’s Pukka for Indian. Edo for sushi (they have gluten-free tamari!). Mad Mexican for nachos and tacos. Live has the best burritos. For brunch I love to go to Cocoalatte, Public Kitchen and Hibiscus (best crepes!). And we recently discovered Basil Box, Asian food that is totally gluten free and so yummy!

 

 

What do you love about Gluten Free Garage?
I can go to all the different vendors and eat whatever I want without having to ask if their food is gluten free—I know it’s all safe! But the day is not just about finding yummy food that’s gluten free, it’s also about letting gluten-free people know that they’re part of a larger community and they’re not alone. I feel very proud of my mom and happy that she did this for me and for all the gluten-free people in the world.

What are you doing this year at Gluten Free Garage?
I’m very excited to be a guest speaker! And even more excited that Almond Butterfly Bakeshop is partnering with me to do cupcake decorating! I’ve wanted to be a speaker for a few years and my mom kept saying wait until you’re older. This year I finally convinced her that I can do it. I’m older now and a lot more responsible. Every month at school I have to present a book report to my class and it’s made me a better public speaker and more confident to share my ideas.

 

Lily Eklove is the Gluten Free Garage muse and taste tester. Diagnosed with celiac at age 3, she has grown up with the autoimmune disease and has learned to be her own advocate when it comes to the foods she can and cannot eat. A fifth-grader in French immersion, Lily dreams of going to Paris one day to eat gluten-free croissants. In the meantime she’s pretty happy with the cupcakes from Almond Butterfly.

 

 

Marni Wasserman keeps it clean

Marni and her new pup Goji

Marni and her adorable new pup Goji

 

5 QUESTIONS for culinary nutritionist Marni Wasserman

What’s your motto?
Everyone can eat more plants!

3 things you’d bring to the desert island.
Sweet potatoes, almond butter and my dog Goji.

Why gluten free?
It’s so much easier for my gut to digest. Also, when you choose clean, wholesome gluten-free foods they are fun to prepare and build recipes with. The versatility and variety of meals to make is off the charts!

What’s your go-to gluten-free breakfast?
Green chia porridge.

Tell us a little-known fun fact about you.
I love ’80s music and butterflies.

 

Green Chia Porridge

Get the recipe for this Green Chia Porridge on Marni’s Instagram @marniwasserman

 

Marni will teach you how to “Clean Up Your Gluten-Free Act” at 3 pm in The Stop at Gluten Free Garage!

Ashley Wittig, baker boss

Ashley

Ashley literally lets them eat cake (and so much more)!

 

5 QUESTIONS for Bunner’s Ashley Wittig

What’s your motto?
I don’t really subscribe to any hard-and-fast motto. I just try to be mindful and optimistic every day.

3 things you’d bring to the desert island.
Now, if this was a dessert island, I wouldn’t need to bring anything! But for a desert island I would bring my favourite oversized hoodie, my running shoes so I don’t lose my mind, and my imaginary solar-powered Vitamix so I could whip up smoothies with all those tropical fruits lying around.

Why gluten free?
Simply, Bunner’s is gluten free because my business partner Kevin is (along with being vegan). But, broadly, when we opened over five years ago, there wasn’t anything available that was delicious and gluten free in Toronto. We were really set on making vegan and gluten-free baked goods that were traditional and tasted as great—if not better—than their gluten, egg and dairy-ful counterparts.

What’s your go-to gluten-free breakfast?
I love a good old-fashioned smoothie. My favourite of all time is frozen banana, frozen watermelon, vanilla almond milk, a handful of baby spinach, and matcha. It’s so out of control, and especially perfect on summer mornings.

Tell us a little-known fun fact about you.
I can do this thing with my tongue that only one in a thousand people can do, apparently. Come find me at the Gluten Free Garage and I’ll show you!

 

Ashley smoothie

Ashley will show you how “Bunner’s Does It Savoury Style” at 2 pm in The Stop at Gluten Free Garage!

Jordan Middlebrook holds court

Are you ready to meet the king?

Are you ready to meet the King at Gluten Free Garage?

 

5 QUESTIONS for celiac advocate Jordan Middlebrook (King Gluten Free)

What’s your motto?
Own it. It’s just about really listening to your gut and owning what you do or say. Taking the chance on yourself and pushing some of your limits.

3 things you’d bring to the desert island.
Popcorn, a flashlight and my daughter.

Why gluten free?
Celiac disease. :(

What’s your go-to gluten-free breakfast?
Typically cereal. But, then again, whatever is available, too. Last night’s dinner is always a safe bet. I’ll eat cookies too. I don’t have a problem with anyone poo-pooing my breakfast choices.

Tell us a little-known fun fact about you.
Female singers are my thing. There is something about how they bring emotion to their songs and make me feel things more than a male singer does.

 

King Gluten Free in all his glory

In his world, all that glitters is gluten free.

 

Jordan will tell you why “Celiac Disease is not a Buzzkill” at 1 pm in The Stop at Gluten Free Garage!

 

Life’s a picnic with Meghan and Josh

Meghan Telpner UnDiet Cookbook 3

The couple that UnDiets together, stays together (Photo: Catherine Farquharson)

 

5 QUESTIONS for nutritionists Meghan Telpner and Josh Gitalis

What’s your motto?
Meghan:
Today is the day!
Josh: The best way to get started is to get started.

3 things you’d bring to the desert island
Meghan:
Assuming it’s a desert island ripe with fruit trees and wild greens:
1. Josh Gitalis
2. A solar-powered high-speed blender
3. A hula hoop

Josh:
1. Meghan Telpner
2. A knife (I’m practical like that)
3. My ukulele

Why gluten free?
Meghan: Why not gluten free? I have a gluten sensitivity and have been in remission from Crohn’s disease for a full decade on a gluten-free diet. I first went gluten free in 1998 when I was diagnosed with depression and almost instantly the cloud lifted. I went gluten free again as I began developing symptoms of IBS in 2004. In the last three years, Josh and I have been strictly gluten free after we each did our own respective research. My feeling has always been “when in doubt, get it out.” To maintain optimal health and stave off inflammation and brain degeneration, I opt for a complete gluten-free life. In 2016 it’s remarkably easy, especially compared with what I went through in 1998 during my first attempt.
Josh: Having worked with hundreds of clients with serious health issues, I have seen the problems that gluten causes for people. I have also scoured the research on the topic and it has been substantiated by science that no one can properly digest gluten. Since I am always trying to better myself health-wise, gluten is thus not a part of my healthy diet and lifestyle.

What’s your go-to gluten-free breakfast?
Meghan:
I have two favourites: my Almond Bread (see recipe below) with ghee usually alongside a fat-rich elixir, which includes Josh’s Elixir blend, some healing herbs and loads of fat.
Josh: I usually enjoy a paleo-style nut bread with ghee and a hot elixir with a variety of herbs, some healthy fat, collagen, and sometimes a drop of cinnamon essential oil.

Tell us a little-known fun fact about you.
Meghan:
I started a cooking school without having any idea how to cook! I really wanted to learn and to help people gain confidence in the kitchen. My first cooking class in 2008 included six recipes, the only six things I knew how to make.
Josh: In my first-year university kinesiology class of 1,200 peers, I was the fastest speed walker. I still often pass people on the sidewalk.

 

TKTK

This simple Grain-Free Almond Bread may replace your favourite bread.

 

Grain-Free Almond Bread
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 50 minutes | Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients
½ cup cashew cream*, coconut kefir or organic yogurt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2½ cups whole raw almonds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup arrowroot starch
2¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 large eggs, or 2 servings of chia paste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coconut syrup (optional)
2 tbp sesame seeds (sprinkled on top)
1 tsp rock salt (sprinkled on top)

*cashew cream: blend 1 part soaked cashews with 2 parts water

Make It Like So
Preheat the oven to 325°C. Grease and dust a loaf pan.

Mix together cashew cream and cider vinegar and set aside.

Grind almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds in a food processor, coffee grinder or high-speed blender until you have a fine meal.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients—eggs/chia paste, cashew cream, oil and coconut syrup.

Mix wet and dry together until there are no lumps, but don’t over-mix. Pour into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and rock salt.

Bake for about 45-50 minutes—until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and feels firm when you press down. Allow bread to sit for about 5 minutes before removing it to a cooling rack. Best stored wrapped in the fridge.

Dynamic duo Meghan and Josh will inspire you to have “A Happy and Awesome Gluten-Free Life” at noon in The Stop at Gluten Free Garage!