Conversations at the dinner table…

Conversations at the dinner table:

Me: Why is your shark šŸ¦ˆ sitting at the table?

Son: I think itā€™s cute.

Me: You think this shark is cute?

Son: šŸ˜‚ Yes!

Me: What else do you think is cute?

Son: Mommy is cute, daddy is cute, but daddy is actually cuter! My hands are cute, my food is cute …

Daughter: Can we play a game?

Me: During dinner? I want you to focus on your food.

Daughter: No this game is called ā€œNo talking at the dinner table!ā€

Me: I like the sound of this game.

Son (referring to the Chilliwack corn stalls in the summer): I donā€™t want to eat this corn, I only like the fresh jubilee corn šŸŒ¾

Daughter: šŸ˜‚ you are out you talked!!!

Son: So are you! šŸ¤£šŸ¤£

Me: Sweetie, you want to be as strong and muscular like Hulk right?

Son: Yes!!!!

Me: Well finish your corn I can see your muscles getting stronger with every bite!

Son: Of course I will eat my corn – Iā€™m not silly!!

Daughter: Daddy won – he didnā€™t say anything!!

Me (thinking to myself) … need to define what ā€œcuteā€ is because clearly this shark is …

Hustle & hard work

Hustle and hard work … something I teach my kids will get them places as they grow older … never too early to start.

My daughter set up her last batch of girl guide cookies as a display at our store but she was disappointed she would not get to talk to everyone personally. So she asked for permission if she could be there selling and talking to customers Monday morning … and I said absolutely … NOT. School first selling product second. But proud of her dedication!

Gluten Cutter

If you have a sensitivity to wheat and dairy products and want to have the OCCASIONAL cheese pizza or cereal with milk without having too much of an upset stomach try taking one “Gluten Cutter” tablet. This tablet can be taken a few minutes before your meal or even during your meal (if you forget to take it). It will help to break down gluten so you can digest a meal that contains wheat and dairy and not feel too much discomfort afterwards.

I only take the odd tablet when I have no gluten free, dairy free options available when I am out at a restaurant. These tablets are NOT FDA approved so make sure to check with your doctor first and those with CELIAC DISEASE should be cautious about this product.

This product is sold on amazon.ca and also at QBC Pharmacy for $12.97 for 15 tablets.

Gluten Free Rice Krispy Squares

Simple and fun recipe for making some delicious kid friendly treats:

1. Melt two tablespoons vegan maragine on medium heat

2. Add one cup of marshmallows, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat.

3. Add one cup of Rice Krispies until you have desired consistency. My children like for there to be an even balance of marshmallows and cereal.

4. Set mixture into a tray, cool and cut into squares or other fun shapes with cookie cutters!

Long awaited biopsy … and the tears

For the past ten months I have been living with uncertainty about the state of my body. This uncertainty (for those that just joined the discussion) has been due to the fact that I have been losing my voice for longer and longer periods of time, and I have a hard time gaining the weight that I lost after adapting to a more gluten free, dairy free diet due to a lifestyle change. 

After going to various doctors, specialists/ surgeons, and having multiple ultrasounds done to track the shape and size of these bumps and lumps found in my neck region I finally had a biopsy scheduled mid-August. A biopsy is a procedure guided with a 3D ultrasound (in my case) where a specialist takes a long needle and collects some cell samples. The cells are examined for irregularities and then determined cancerous or not.
So in May of this year I once again hit a low point as I lost my voice again (allergies?) and had an appointment with my vocal therapist. She investigated and took pictures of my cords and was alarmed they were inflamed. She actually did not want to offer any conclusions so directed me back to my specialist. Luckily, I already had an appointment booked with him the following week (and didn’t have to wait for months to see him). When I saw my specialist, he used a scope to peer inside my nose and throat and immediately put me on some nasal steroids. Meanwhile, he scheduled me for another ultrasound and put a rush on my biopsy procedure.

The fact that he rushed the biopsy had me worried and thinking a hundred things. So the day finally came when I got a call from the Jim Pattison Outpatient centre with my new appointment date, early June. I was nervous and scared, but relieved that finally I would have some conclusive results.

On the day of my biopsy, I went to work as normal and taught a class of chemistry. My mind however was in so many places. My appointment was scheduled during my “spare” blocks and then I had a meeting after school. I was thinking – would I have the energy to go back to work and explain to my students the bandage on my neck? 

My husband and my son were both with me on the day of my biopsy. As I changed into the blue gown and put my clothes in the complimentary plastic bag I teared up. Then I pulled myself together and sat in the private waiting area beside my son and husband. My son briefly noticed my change of clothes then moved on to something else that had caught his eye, a lady with a cast on her leg walking with crutches. While he was investigating I started to lose control, tears everywhere and was almost hyperventilating. I just could not keep it together. With my son facing the other direction, I tried hard to pull myself together and wipe away the tears, but he turned around and saw me. I managed to smile at him while madly brushing my tears and praying they would just evaporate (and leave the salt behind – no maybe not). But he was now leaning in to see the spectacle in front of him – his mom in tears?! “Supermom” … indestructible mom … fix everything up mom … in tears … wait … stop the universe … freeze time … mom in tears?! 

Then he started talking to me about random things and he eventually asked about my tears. I found myself explaining why people have tears and the scientific and nonscientifc reason behind tears. He seemed satisfied with my explanation and we hugged – me holding him extra tight just a little bit longer. 

Finally, I was called in and was prepped for my biopsy. I had the procedure thoroughly explained and signed on a couple dotted lines. At last the radiologist came and along with the nurses positioned me for the ultrasound. While he was conducting the ultrasound he made some small talk and eventually he told me to wipe the cold gel off my neck and sit up as he wanted to talk. I sat up and he said there was no reason for him to perform the biopsy and he never wanted to see me again… I was confused and starting to get dizzy … and he explained  as long as the lymph nodes in my throat area decrease in size after they swell (due to trauma, infection, allergies etc) that is completely normal. 

So I hopped off the examining table, gave the doctor and nurses huge hugs, changed out of my gown, and ran to my husband and son!! This time I had tears in my eyes as I scooped up my son … he saw them … and the huge smile on my face … and he knew what kind of tears they were!

Cacay Oil Hype

Cacay Oil is it all hype or is there really something there?

There has been so much about Cacay Oil in articles that I decided to look into it further andĀ check it out for myself.

Three Main ChemicalsĀ found in high concentrations inĀ Cacay Oil:

  1. Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) reduces acne symptoms
  2. Retinol (vitamin A) reduces the wrinkles in the skin
  3. Tocopherol (vitamin E)Ā Ā is an antioxidant.

These three chemicals all promote healthy, younger skin. When used regularly, the skin is leftĀ feeling softer, smoother, andĀ feels younger.

It was noted, over a course ofĀ three weeks, the pores on the nose got smaller and the skin felt smoother and more nourished (all other variables kept as constant as possible!). This could just be in my head! I will look into finding some definitive research articles and share out.

In the meantime, for anyone interested inĀ  the bottle of Cacay Oil I use you can purchase 30 mL of 100% pure Curelle Cacay Oil at Queensborough Community Pharmacy for $46.97. If you contact me, I will give you a unique customer code for a nice discount!

Daiya Cheesecake

We tried this beautiful looking Strawberry Cheezecake from the Daiya line. It is free from all the main allergens so definitely something I was excited to share with my family. We took it out of the box and noticed it was tiny, maybe 5″ in diameter at most but it looked good. When my kids tried, my daughter did not like it at all and my son thought it was okay.

I will definitely not be purchasing this again. Kind of disappointed since the Daiya line creates really good allergen free products and IĀ have high expectations of them (oh right I should lower my expectations!).

The Best Tasting Frozen Gluten Free Pizza

Finally aĀ Frozen Pizza that is Gluten, Egg, Soy, & Dairy Free!

For those days when things get hectic its always nice to have a frozen pizza available. There is only one brand of frozen pizzas I would ever recommended to thoseĀ with dietary restrictions as we have tried many.

We have found the best and tastiest pizza to be from the Daiya line. In particular my children love personalizingĀ the Daiya Cheeze Lover’s Pizza with their own toppings such as olives, pineapples, tomatoes, meat balls.

This pizza isĀ not onlyĀ gluten free, but alsoĀ dairy free, soy free, and egg free – wow that is hard to come by with pizzas! Ā Absolutely delicious and kids love it!!

The GlutinoĀ GlutenĀ Free DuoĀ CheeseĀ Pizza has liquid eggsĀ and milk ingredients. Also Udi’s Gluten Free Three Cheese PizzaĀ contains eggs as well. Since I purchased these products from Superstore’sĀ Click & Collect, I did not know how to look upĀ product information – but I have figured outĀ how to do that (will not make that mistake again!).Ā In conclusion, I have noticed all theĀ Glutino and Udi brand products contain soy or eggs – so I will not be purchasing from these brands as they do not meet the needs of my family.

Left: Daiya Pizza Ingredients
Right: Glutino Pizza Ingredients

Here is the price* breakdown per 100g:

  • $9.99 Daiya ($2.24/100g) – gluten, egg, soy, dairy free (LOVE IT!!)
  • $7.99 Udi’s ($2.81/100g) – contains eggs & dairy (will not buy)
  • $6.78 Glutino ($3.87/100g) – contains eggs & dairy (will not buy)

*These are regular prices in Canadian dollarsĀ at Superstore.

 

 

Pikanik – Gluten Free Bakery (what we liked and did not like)

In box (clockwise): Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, potato cornbread muffin, jam thumbprint cookies, chocolate raspberry cupcake, coconut snowballs (in centre of box). Brownie. Honey Bread

Gluten Free Bakery

I am not going to lie but learning to bake from cake mixes and from scratch has been challenging! I am not a baker and have struggled immensely with finding baked goods for my children to eat.

Last summer I came across this cute little bakery called Pikanik located in South Surrey. It is a bit pricey (but then again most organic, “natural” foods are). This bakery is unique and one-of-its kind as it completely caters towards individuals with restricted diets free from the main allergens. In the summer my family and I tried some baked goods and we did not like anything from there and the children pretty much spat it all out. I feel it was more we were not used to gluten free, egg free foods and thus reacting as such.

Just recently, I decided I would go in and give it a second chance. So I picked an assortment of goodies and thought why not. The worst that can happen is my children do not like it and we continue our search and keep practicing our baking skills at home. My husband said to set my expectations low as then I will not be disappointed…so I went in with low expectations. To my surprise, my daughter ended up really liking the brownie and enjoyed the jam thumbprint cookie. My husband and I liked all the items, and I really liked the taste of the moist honey bread when grilled! The oatmeal chocolate chip cookie was okay but not a favorite for my children. The  coconut snowballs, cornbread muffin, and chocolate cupcake with the raspberry icing were not very tasty and I would not purchase them again.

Here is a break down of the prices:

  • $1.95 Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie (okay)
  • $2.65 Sweet Potato Cornbread Muffin (not tasty,  too dry)
  • $2.35 Jam Thumbprint Cookie (LOVE IT! Will buy!)
  • $3.40 Chocolate Razzmatazz Cupcake (no go, can make similar ones at home, icing is not very tasty)
  • $1.95 Coconut Snowball (not tasty)
  • $3.65 Brownie (LOVE IT!)
  • $8.50 Honey Bread (tasty, but will probably opt for other options)

This bakery is pricey but it is nice to have a place where I know there is a treat my children can enjoy freely. So would I go back to Pikanik? Yes, definitely for the brownies and jam thumbprint cookies as they are delicious.