Kelowna Celiac and Gluten Intolerant Wellness Hour

Mary Hicks

Don’t forget , this Thursday night, January 22, 2015 we have our Kelowna Celiac and Gluten Intolerant Wellness Hour with Mary Hicks, our Dietitian.

Topic :Nutrition and celiac disease.
When: 7-8 pm
Where: Interior Health, Capri Centre Mall,KELOWNA, 118 – 1835 Gordon Drive, Room 3,

Free to CCA members, $2 donation for non-members.  It’s 7 pm to 8 pm at the Capri Health Centre (118 – 1835 Gordon Drive) meeting room three with parking available at the back by Capri insurance.

Contact Mary Hicks 250-717-3639 for more information.

What is Important to you this Christmas?

by Sue Newell

Sue Newell

Sue Newell

For someone with celiac disease, a food allergy or a food sensitivity, a holiday built around parties and food can be a real-life nightmare. There are so many unknowns: Can I eat that? Did she use the ingredient brands I asked? Were those vegetables cut on the same board used for the bread? How many people have dragged something with gluten through that dip? What do I do – he put my gluten-free crackers on the same plate as the rest of the crackers? What do I say to Aunt Mary who just offered me her special Fluffernutter Cookies?

If you try to make everything perfect, odds are you will have a meltdown long before Christmas dinner and will want to hide in a closet until it is all over.

So here is my suggestion: figure out what things are the most important to you, and let everything just happen. I’m not suggesting that you don’t pay attention to what you are eating; I’m suggesting you make sure you have something tasty to eat at those events, but don’t fret if it is not the same as everyone else. Bring you own food if you need to, but spend a minimal amount of energy fussing about it. If someone asks about it, say “I cannot eat wheat, rye and barley and I brought my own food so I could spend time with everyone, rather than worrying about safe food.” If that isn’t enough for them, too bad; don’t argue, start a conversation with someone else.

For the important things, find the key elements and make sure they work for you. One of our Facebook members mentioned that everyone in the family gets to eat their favourite cereal on Christmas morning, even the sugary-sweet ones that are not on the table through the year. She knew that Chex wasn’t going to do it for her, so she asked for suggestions from the group. Forty responses later, she had a long list to consider including some with no nutritional value (the exact definition of a Christmas treat!). In my family, I missed having scones for Christmas lunch, but a batch of gluten-free biscuits (Nova Scotia style) satisfied my needs and gave another option to the other people at the table.

If a turkey dinner is not complete without stuffing, focus your energy on making sure there is safe stuffing (and an un-stuffed turkey) and don’t worry about the rolls and vegetable casserole with those little crunchy onions on them. If your absolutely favourite square or cookie is available, does it really matter that there is a plate of cookies you cannot eat?

This probably requires some thinking on your part, and the first time you take your own food to a party, you will be very nervous, but press through and I bet you will realize that it wasn’t so bad after all.

I know it isn’t easy, especially if it is your child who needs the gluten-free food. Make sure you discuss the situation in advance so your child knows what is going to happen and that his or her food is going to be safe. Keep an eye out that they are not being pressured to eat something that is not safe by well-meaning relatives.

Depending on the type of party, it is probably worth speaking with the host before you arrive to let them know what you will be doing. This is especially important for events planned around a menu. Be clear and be firm – you are not trying to insult them, this is what you need to do to keep healthy.

Christmas Treats and Treasures

If you are still looking for Christmas cookies, try these options from Gluten Free on a Shoestring, and The Roasted Root.

Some of these recipes may require a few clicks to find the instructions and when you see “oats” mentally substitute it with “pure uncontaminated oats”, but with 92 choices, at least one should call your name. I want to make the Chocolate Peppermint Meringue Christmas Trees.

Christmas is often a time for making special ornaments with your children or grandchildren. some craft materials may contain gluten but you can make ornaments from cinnamon and applesauce, or salt, water and cornstarch, or even cornstarch and baking soda with some glitter thrown in for effect.

Jamie’s Food Tube channel dubs Kelowna woman “Queen of gluten-free baking”

Media Release

Editor’s note: Kelowna local Nicole Knegt appears immediately after the 92 second introduction above.

Snail-mailing a large piece of cardboard in the shape of a slice of bread to a company you’d like to work with isn’t your typical business strategy.

“It was a gutsy move,” said Matthew Knegt of Kelowna, B.C., co-founder of Four Spoons Bakery, a micro bakery specializing in gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free goods.

Knegt, 30, and his wife Nicole sent the laser-cut two-by-one-and-a-half-foot cardboard toast with a bite mark to world-renowned food guru Jamie Oliver’s production company on a whim, in hopes of being featured on his award-winning YouTube cooking channel, Jamie’s Food Tube.

Engraved on the bread-shaped cardboard was the message, “Gluten-free bread can taste like cardboard. A special-diets Food Tube channel could help change this.” The Knegts included a link to a custom portfolio website which invited Oliver to consider partnering with them to bring delicious gluten and allergen-friendly recipes to the world.

Oliver launched a search last month for foodie talent among the world’s greatest entrepreneurial chefs, cooks and artisans. This “fresh talent” will be uploaded to his Food Tube channel, where views and “thumbs-up” votes will help determine who is given the opportunity to work with his network.

In a recent video, Oliver explains his new Fresh Talent Playlist: “We want to find the best people from around the world and get it up on Food Tube so we can share it with everyone.”

Since its kickoff in January 2013, Jamie’s Food Tube has become a cooking show and online recipe resource for the masses. It is the largest foodie community in Europe and boasts 1 million plus subscribers.

The Knegts shot a video featuring a gluten-free and dairy-free adaptation of Jamie’s chocolate profiterole (cream puff) recipe from his most recent cookbook, Comfort Food. When Oliver’s team uploaded it to Jamie’s Food Tubethey dubbed Nicole as “the Canadian queen of gluten free baking.”

Nicole Knegt

Nicole Knegt

Nicole’s knack for tweaking run-of-the-mill recipes into glorious allergen-friendly deliciousness could be a game changer in the foodie world and for countless people worldwide who have dietary restrictions.

Nicole is anaphylactic to all dairy and is also sensitive to gluten, yeast, and a number of other foods. Matthew also has a number of sensitivities to various foods.

“We felt there was a niche for a food channel that caters to those of us who live with allergies, celiac disease, and other food sensitivities,” said Knegt.

The Canadian couple recently closed Four Spoons Bakery to focus on creating an online educational resource,, for individuals with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and food allergies. They also launched a YouTube cooking channel in September.

The Knegt’s chocolate profiterole video is featured alongside eight fellow Food Tube fresh talent competitors, who have already earned considerable recognition within the food industry as MasterChef champions, TV chefs, authors and food writers. Seven are London-based and one is from Dublin.

“We are beyond thrilled,” Nicole said. “Please watch the video and give us a thumbs up! We hope to make Canada proud and to be able to provide high-quality gluten-free and allergen-friendly recipes.”

The Knegt’s video can be viewed by clicking here.

Final Year for Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease

By Alek O. Komarnitsky


xmas lights for celiac‘Tis the holiday season and the Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease are back online for the LAST year.

Three live webcams and X10 technology allows web surfers to not only view the live action, but also *control* 20,000+ lights … plus inflate/deflate the giant 15′ Santa Balloon, Santa on Skis, in a Helicopter, and flying a Plane … along with Elmo, Frosty Family, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the Homer Simpson Santa – D’OH!

The website is totally free (and totally fun) but also raises awareness and funds for charity via optional/voluntary donations – over $80,000 for the Center for Celiac Research. I’ve supported this world-class research organization for almost a decade and even though I found out last year that the original Celiac Diagnosis of my kids was a false positive (Email me for more details – nutshell summary is medical science is “hard” so not always 100% correct), I’m still helping them raise awareness and supporting research for an eventual cure.

For over a decade, Alek’s Controllable Christmas Lights have been an online festive holiday tradition for millions of Internet users world-wide …  here’s an entertaining snippet of just some of the media attention. See how the Christmas Display has evolved from 1999 to present … and follow along this year on the Christmas Blog.

alek says goodbyeThere are a myriad of hilarious stories through the years … most notably from 2002-2004 when the technology wasn’t quite there yet so I had to do a simulation – finally had to reveal as it got outa hand. There were many “challenges” doing it for real such as getting reliable wireless connectivity to the webcam at the neighbor’s house, replacing burnt out lights (one goes out, they all go out darnit!), squirrels chewing through the wires, water causing the GFCI’s to trip, swapping X10 Super Sockets in the power panel (often during sub-zero temperatures), dealing with 70+ MPH winds (the greatest enemy of holiday displays is winds), scouring garage and post-holiday 50-75% off sales for lights/decorations/inflatables, dealing with the media (they can be a PIA at times … but I did enjoy the Heli ride!), the occasional knucklehead on the Internet (more than balanced out by the 99.9% of folks who loved the interactive display),  and having my family “put up” with my craziness – “Alek I need to drive out of the garage – can you please move Homer Simpson?” – D’OH!   ;-)

It’s been a fun run … with the best part being the countless messages from people saying it has brought some joy into their lives. But it’s time to “retire” and wanted to finish “bright” in 2014.

A special thanks to my Mom who flies out most Thanksgivings to help me setup – that’s her in the last picture with the “Elmo Santa” she put together out of (literally) parts from Goodwill. And a Happy (decade) Birthday to my wonderful wife Wendy.

Merry Christmas and HO-HO-HO!


Indican Brand Corriander & Cumin Powder Recalled

indican-spicesRecall date:
November 28, 2014
Reason for recall:
Allergen – Gluten
Hazard classification:
Class 3
Company / Firm:
Fruiticana Produce Ltd.
Alberta, British Columbia

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Indican Corriander + Cumin Powder – Dhania Jeera Powder 400 g KFBL05 6 27726 10621 4

We are discontinuing our restaurants page

By David Fowler

When we first started our gluten-free restaurant list, hardly any local restaurants provided gluten-free options or adhered to proper kitchen practices to ensure a Celiac-friendly environment.

With the multitude of restaurant options now available, it is no longer difficult for Celiacs to find at least a few gluten-free dishes at most restaurants.  As our chapter of the CCA is 100% volunteer run, it’s challenging for volunteers to keep up with the ever-changing list.

If you are looking for a gluten-free restaurant in our area we recommend the following questions with the dining establishment.


Gluten-Free Dining Questions

gluten-free questionsCommunication
• What recommendations are made to diners asking for a gluten-free meal?
• How are kitchen staff alerted to a gluten-free order?

• What ingredients will be used to make my order?
• How are ingredients confirmed to be really gluten free? Says so on labels? • Checked product website?
Called the manufacturer? • Checked with the CCA?
• Could gluten-free ingredients / toppings become contaminated while they are waiting to be used?
• Are pure spices vs prepared seasonings or soy sauce used in making my meal?
• Are deep fried items cooked in oil that has been used to deep fry breaded, battered gluten food items?
• How are sauces and dressings thickened? Do they contain malt vinegar?

• Are hands washed / gloves & apron changed before or in between preparing regular food?
• Are all utensils used in preparing my food free from traces of gluten? • Separate or scrubbed frying pan?
Griddle scrubbed clean of residue ? • Dedicated gluten-free pots, colanders, cutting boards?
• Will my food be prepared in an area separate from the regular flow of the kitchen?
• What other precautions are taken to minimize / prevent cross contamination?

Pizzas Places & Mixed Bakeries
• Are gluten-free crusts prepared on site or pre-purchased?
• Are fresh sauces / ingredients used for gluten-free pizzas? Or are ingredients from the regular prep line used?
• Are gluten-free pizzas prepared in a separate area? If not, how is the area prepped to be gluten-free?
• Could the finished product become contaminated with gluten while waiting to be served?
• How do servers / kitchen staff / delivery persons double check that an order is gluten-free?

• What prompted your restaurant’s interest in serving the gluten free?
• Has your restaurant received input from the local Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association? A dietitian?
Someone familiar with celiac disease and the gluten-free diet?
• Do you or a staff member have celiac disease? On a gluten-free diet?
• Have you ever had a complaint about a gluten-free meal? What was done to prevent it from reoccurring?

We’d like to thank Marie Ablett for her many years of dedication in the preparation of our list.  We’d further like to thank Ellen Baynes of the Celiac Scene for the tips above.

Celiac Pens Children’s Book on Food Intolerance

by Claudine Crangle


Hello to my fellow celiac friends!

claudinecrangle_Woolfred CoverI’m sending out a message to share news of my new book Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions: A Tale of Being True to Your Tummy.

It has been published by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association, and recently won a Gold Medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards in the Health category.

As a celiac diagnosed at the age of 3 back in 1971, it has been a life-long dream of mine to create a book that speaks to the challenges that children feel around food intolerance. It’s been quite a journey, and today I’m writing to request that news of this book be shared with memberships through newsletters, sites and anywhere else that parents of celiac children might learn about it.

More can be found on my publishers website:

And can also be found on Amazon.ca