Monday 18 June 2012


It’s really amazing how much you hear when you shut the hell up. I don’t know if it is apparent in this blog but I am a bit of a talker. And by ‘bit’ I mean, if someone in a room is talking, it’s me. I can make conversation in an elevator or a funeral. I once met a lady when I got called for jury duty, we chatted through the whole thing, didn’t get picked and went for lunch. I can talk, to almost anybody, about almost anything.

 I don’t know why this is. Maybe it’s because I am the youngest of four equally vibrant siblings and when we were kids it was often like Lord of the Flies.  Some kids fight for toys, we would fight for the conch shell of attention. It’s not that I don’t like silence, I do, a lot. I feel though, that we humans were made with the gift of speech for a reason, use it or lose it I say. Every once in a while though, I  shut the fuck up and listen. It can really pay off.

Case in point –  I attended a Gluten Free Workshop put on by the Gluten Free Advisor, Karen Renaud. The workshop required very little talking on my part and it allowed me to learn a few things that I didn’t know before. If you don’t know who Karen is, you kinda should. Here is a link to her website Gluten Free Workshops. She is the former Calgary Celiac Association Chapter Co-ordinator and quite the expert on all things Gluten Free. 

Overall, the workshop was very informative. Karen also had a table of GF items that she uses and the Gluten Free General Store was there as well. You all know how much I love the Gluten Free General Store The Gluten Free General Store.  Also, Karen went around the room and some people shared their diagnosis story. That part was kind of cool too. I heard some stories that were similar to mine but some that were totally different. Again, I was not talking so I could take this all in.

I learnt a great deal – here is a list of how much smarter I am now. These are taken from my notes.

-          Your small intestine is 3 times your height in length (ewwwww)

-          It takes 3 to 6 months for villi to grow back after being damaged

-          One crumb of gluten can cause one inch of damage to your intestine

-          You should do a blood test every year to determine if you are getting glutened by accident – lipstick, cross contamination, stupid people

-          Xanthum Gum is better for breads than Guar Gum

-          Kinnikinik will ship anywhere UPS – if you are going on Vacay, they will make sure there is a package at your hotel for you when you arrive - GENIUS- Kinnikinnick Foods

-          Chapman’s Frozen yogurt is Gluten Free (YIPEE)

-          Dr. Alessio Fasano is one of the foremost experts on Celiac’s – one of his presentations can be found here.

-          The requirement for the designation of GF in the United States is very different from the requirements for Canada. – Canada says that an item has to have LESS than 20 parts per million of Gluten in order for it to be determined Gluten Free. In the United States, it is MUCH higher at 200 parts per million

-           After that, I wrote the word “Lemon Grass” but I have no idea why

-       I also drew a picture of a duck with a balloon, I doubt they meant anything.

 I highly recommend one of Karen’s Workshops if you can. Shut the hell up for a minute and you might learn something…just like I did, then go make a new friend in the elevator....just like I did.

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