Posts Categorized: Happiness is…

they’ve got the power

5 healthy ingredients and a whole lotta power

5 healthy ingredients and a whole lotta love

 

These Power Balls are  one of many easy cleanse-friendly recipes that come in Dr. Jodi Larry‘s handbook for her Cleanse for Life program, which I’ve participated in twice and wrote about here. With spring on its way (please), there’s no better time to consider kick-starting a new, healthy lifestyle.

Craving chocolate or something sweet? Pop one of these babies in your mouth! They are a breeze to make, with only 5 ingredients, and are so delicious you won’t believe they’re so good for you.

Dr. Jodi’s Power Balls
6 medjool dates (soak for a few minutes and remove pits)
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tsp raw cacao powder
unsweetened shredded coconut

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Roll mixture into balls. Roll the balls in shredded coconut. Refrigerate for about an hour, if you can wait that long.

(My friend Mia, who is a fantastic cook, recommends adding a pinch of sea salt before blending ingredients. I can see where she’s going with that.)

Canadian Celiac Association is on ECHOage!

 

My baby turned 6 last week.

My non-celiac girl turned 6.

 

One of my proudest moments as a mother happened a few weeks ago as Franny and I were planning her 6th birthday soirée.

After going over her guest list, I talked to her about having an ECHOage party. Truth is, she’s been having ECHOage parties ever since her 1st birthday, but this year I felt she was old enough to really understand what it means and get involved.

ECHOage is an online birthday party service where kids get the gifts they want AND give to a charity. It was created by two brilliant Toronto moms who wanted to make birthday parties more rewarding for the kids and less work for the parents. Who can argue with that?

Here’s how ECHOage works: Instead of your average paperless invite, after customizing their invitation the birthday child chooses a charity. Guests are then invited to make a contribution. Half of the funds raised go to the charity of the child’s choice and the other half goes toward birthday gifts that the child wants—combining the good feelings of giving with the good feelings of receiving. But that’s not all…

ECHOage is also convenient and environmentally friendly! Everything you need—RSVPs, contributions, birthday messages, thank you notes—is included in the online guest tracker. There’s also a feature that allows parents to indicate any food allergies their child has, which I appreciate as the mom of a gluten-free girl. No paper invites, no piles of discarded wrapping paper, no running around returning unwanted or duplicate gifts. But, by far, the best part about ECHOage is the feeling your child will have from helping others; getting an awesome gift definitely sweetens the deal!

So Franny and I went on the charity page of the ECHOage website. We scrolled through the 200-plus (!) local and national charities that have partnered with ECHOage. There is a charity for every imaginable cause, from health to animals to the environment. We read the names and looked at the logos and we talked about what the various charities do. Then we came upon a familiar logo—the Canadian Celiac Association—and without a moment of hesitation, Franny said, “That’s the charity I want because Lily has celiac!” There it was, my proudest moment as a mother.

CCA logo

With her charity chosen and her invitations emailed, we planned the party. Franny wanted to have a “mock-over”—a mock sleepover, that is—with 10 friends and cousins coming dressed in their pajamas. They would do a craft (inspired by the Children’s Art Studio), then we’d order pizza, have cake, watch a movie and eat popcorn. And then their parents would pick them up. Franny requested her favourite appetizer, picked out the flick (Epic) and got the loot for her bags.

Franny ended up raising $152.50 for the Canadian Celiac Association and she got $152.50 for her birthday present—an underwater camera. But I think the best gift of all is the ECHOage award proudly taped to the wall in her room…and her big sister’s gratitude.

ECHOage awardThe next time you’re planning your child’s birthday party, go ahead and ECHOage it! 

the pink-alicious donuts

The donuts on the front of our new postcards were inspired by...

In case you were wondering, the donuts on our new postcards were inspired by…

 

    All dressed up with somewhere to go: one of the sweet highlights from spring 2013 GFG

these pretty-in-pink gluten-free donuts that Tori’s Bakeshop brought to the Gluten Free Garage last spring.

 

They also sell them at their bakery in the Beaches. We nabbed the last one today.

Today we went to Tori’s in the Beaches. We were lucky enough to nab the last donut in the display. This donut is organic, vegan and gluten free. And totally scrumptious.

 

Because sometimes you just want a donut.

Because sometimes a gluten-free girl just wants a donut.

 

 

gluten-free roundup at the Veg Food Fest

The Vegetarian Food Festival is one of our favourite happenings  in the city. It's the perfect event for our daughter Lily, who has celiac disease, because there are so many healthy and delicious gluten-free offerings that she can indulge in. This year we planned on heading out on Saturday but we weren't brave enough to brave the rain.

The Vegetarian Food Festival is one of our favourite happenings in the city. It’s a fantastic foodie event for our daughter Lily, who has celiac disease, because there are so many healthy and delicious gluten-free offerings—many of them made locally!—that she can indulge in (this photo is from last year’s VegTO). This year we planned on heading out on Saturday but we weren’t brave enough to brave the rain. On Sunday morning the sun was shining as we did the Parkinson’s Walk. But after that Lily was too pooped to head down to Harbourfront Centre so I picked up my aunt Anne (aka Honey, she’s not vegan!), coach and therapist extraordinaire who’s visiting from Vancouver (coachinginanutshell.com), and we headed down to VegTO—with strict instructions from Lily to get some good stuff.

 

Our first stop: The Simply Bar. (Note: Vendors in this blog post are in order of appearance.)

Our first stop: The Simply Bar. (Note: Vendors in this blog post are in order of appearance as we walked the show.) These gluten-free bars are like a healthy rice crispy treat. Key word: “healthy”—each bar contains 12 or less ingredients. Simply Bar’s bragging rights include vegan, high protein, low sugar, non-GMO and free of gluten, casein, dairy and additives. Simply put, they’re really good for you. And, with flavours like cocoa coffee and maple pecan, they taste good too! Simply Choices also makes protein chips and a new sweet protein crunch snack.

 

We made a beeline to Bunner's, where we spotted co-owner Kevin MacAllister munching down on one of their vegan, gluten-free baked goods. We don't blame him!

We made a beeline to Bunner’s, where we spotted co-owner Kevin MacAllister munching down on one of their vegan, gluten-free baked goods. Who can blame him?

 

We'll take 3 Supersonic Cookies! We're going to need the energy to get through all these amazing veggie vendors!

We bought 3 Supersonic Cookies, knowing we’d need all the energy we could get to make our way through the festival. I polished off my cookie before we made it to the next booth.

 

The words "gluten free" beckoned us to Sweets from the Earth.

The words “gluten free” beckoned us to another one of our favourite local companies doing wonders with gluten-free baking, Sweets from the Earth. My aunt Honey couldn’t make up her mind about what to get but I knew exactly what I was after…

 

Hello dolly! Come to mama!

Hello dolly! Come to mama!

 

Owner Marc Kadonoff had some wise words for us all.

Sweets’ owner Marc Kadonoff got some words of wisdom off his chest. As long as the cookies are gluten free, we couldn’t agree more.

 

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