Look who’s coming to Gluten Free Garage!

Speaker sessions take place in the Wychwood Barns Community Gallery.
The entrance is off of Wychwood Avenue (the northeast side of the venue).
Space is limited so please arrive a few minutes early and form a line.

10:30 – 11:15 am

Essential Oils for Digestion & High Vibes

In this 45-minute workshop with wellness advocate Christine Russell, come discover the power of essential oils and how they can contribute to creating your optimal health and healing at a cellular level. Learn how to create your own natural pharmacy toolkit, power your health with plant science, and elevate the way you feel and live. Christine will do a deeper dive into essential oils for digestion to support and improve your gut health, mood and skin. Get ready for some deep and delicious inhales and tons of sampling! Christine promises to take you on a high-vibe journey to healthy living from the inside out. You will leave this session feeling educated, energized and emotionally balanced.



Christine Russell is a mama, essential oil wellness advocate and entrepreneur. She teaches yoga, meditation and essential oils to ignite your inner light and grow. A thought leader in the wellness industry, Christine co-founded 889 Community and Essential Sisters with her sister Emily Ridout.


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12 – 12:45 pm

Say Ciao to Boring Bowls of Pasta!

Join local farm-to-table advocate and freelance food stylist Irene Matys as she shows us how to prevent pasta from being a boring weeknight repeat offender of boil, add sauce and eat. By using a few clever tips and tricks, you will wow your guests, taking jarred sauce to the next level and using unexpected accessories to make pasta the star of any dinner table. Each attendee will take home a gift bag of Italpasta Gluten Free Pasta to try out their new skills at home. Nonna will be jealous!

Presented by:

Irene Matys, who was born in Cyprus and immigrated to Canada in 1976 as a refugee, has a passion and love for creating, styling and photographing food that feeds the eye. She specializes in freelance food photography, food styling and recipe development for a number of prominent businesses. Irene is currently working as a freelance food stylist with CTV/Bell Media on shows such as The Marilyn Denis Show, Your Morning, The Social and etalk. She is also a local farm-to-table advocate and supports local farmers. Irene has been with Plan B Organic Farms in Hamilton for three years, volunteering, sharing her farm journey and creating beautiful cuisines using fresh local farm ingredients.

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1:15 – 2 pm

Gut Feeling:
How your microbiome affects your mood, skin & stress levels

The microbiome encompasses tens of trillions of microbes that live on you and in you. The food you eat daily, your natural health supplement regimen and your lifestyle can either support these microbes or hamper them, allowing bad bacteria and yeast to proliferate. It’s absolutely fascinating how these microbes impact your mood, your skin and even your stress levels. In this session with Joy McCarthy, you’ll learn about all the delicious and nourishing gluten-free foods you can eat daily to support a joyous microbiome!

Holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy is the founder of JoyousHealth.com, an award-winning blog focused on healthy living. She is a two-time bestselling author of Joyous Health and Joyous Detox. A trusted nutrition expert, Joy has been featured in hundreds of online and print publications and is a regular health expert on TV. Joy lives in Toronto with her husband Walker and their daughter Vienna. She loves social media and shares her passion for food, family and fun as a way to channel positive energy into the lives of others. You can find her @joyoushealth on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.


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2:15 – 3 pm

Panel discussion:
Gluten-Free Influencers Help You Live Your Best GF Life

An exclusive opportunity to hang with the city’s top gluten-free influencers! This panel session will explore dining out, traveling and cooking at home while living with celiac disease. The five GF movers and shakers you’ll meet are paving the way for the community at large, enabling all of us to thrive and not feel deprived. Join them as they weigh in on hot topics to provide answers, solutions and advice for how to live your very best GF life.

MODERATED BY: Rachael Hunt, @glutenfreedomrach

Rachael is the founder of GlutenFreedomInc.com, a site dedicated to cooking, dining, traveling and living gluten free. Over the past five years, Rachael has become a useful resource for those looking for solutions to their GF lifestyle with her one-of-a-kind restaurant directory, travel recaps, recipes and lifestyle, wellness and business tips. “I have met and connected with so many people who are able to dine out again as a result of my platforms-the greatest news I ever receive!” She is also cohost of the weekly podcast Vibe Tribe Wellness (@thisisvibetribe).



Aalia Adam, @seriouslyglutenfree

Shortly after her celiac diagnosis in 2016, Aalia started a video series called Seriously Gluten-Free, which profiles “gluten-free superheroes”—people who own restaurants, bakeries and factories that accommodate those who are gluten averse. The series not only helped her discover safe places to dine out but also exposed her to a whole community of people hungry for GF options who understand the struggles of going gluten free. She recently moved to Toronto from Montreal and was amazed by how many celiac-safe spots the city has to offer, especially the number of gluten-free bakeries! “I am slowly getting over my fear of eating out and I hope that my series will help others in the celiac community overcome it too…one bite at a time.”


Jessica Danford, @gfreewifey

Jessica’s celiac diagnosis in 2016 propelled her into a healthy lifestyle. She shares her positive approach to gluten-free life on her website GFreeWifey.com. She is a passionate advocate for the celiac community with a personal mission to advocate access to safe food for all through her fundraising campaign GFreeWifey Gluten-Free Foodbank. “After suffering undiagnosed for years, I’m still working to heal my body despite some irreversible damage from long-term exposure. Although every single person experiences celiac disease differently, we can share those experiences to educate and empower each other in the ever-growing celiac community.”


Ashley Gismondi, @celiacandthe6ix

Ashley is a 30-something foodie who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005. She doesn’t let celiac disease get in her way. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and adorable golden-doodle puppy Frankie. In her free time, she enjoys biking and baking and is a huge Leafs fan. Ashley showcases her GF food finds, travels and lifestyle on Twitter and Instagram. “Do not let celiac disease act as a barrier to prevent you from stepping out of your comfort zone and travelling the world. Life as a gluten-free gal (and foodie) requires being prepared and doing a bit of research ahead of time but I have no regrets, only memories and beautiful pictures to share!”


Rafia Kanji, @eatwithraf

Rafia has a profound passion for nutrition and recipe creation. In early 2017, she launched a food blog dedicated to wellness and recipe creations. She later enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is currently pursuing her passion to become a certified health coach. She has a creative approach to all her recipes, ensuring that they are all free from gluten, refined sugar and dairy. Rafia’s goal is to work with people to help them make healthier choices without compromising taste. “Being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2013 was a blessing in disguise; it led to me discover my passion for cooking and nutrition and become part of such a supportive community.”


Tarryn Skuy, @myceliaclife

When Tarryn was diagnosed in 2010, she was at an age where she finally had the freedom to go out for meals with friends but was worried of being judged or thought of as “different.” She moved to London, Ontario, where she studied marketing and digital marketing, and then went on to do a business degree two years ago, which is when she started her blog to help others with celiac disease. “Celiac life is challenging but can easily be overcome and managed for the rest of your life. All it takes is an entirely gluten-free diet, and those who are celiac are fully capable of being normal, fully functioning individuals!”


With special guest appearance by:

Lily, 12, has grown up with celiac disease, as she was diagnosed at age 3. She made her guest speaker debut at last year’s Gluten Free Garage!



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Gluten Free Garage: Part III (November 2013) was pleased to bring you 3 fantastic speakers and topics for our guest speaker series! Our speakers covered a variety of topics related to healthy gluten-free living. There was something for everyone!

Click on the links below to view the guest speaker sessions.

Ricki Heller

Joy McCarthy

Maggie Savage