Gluten Free Vancouver is an online resource for anyone living a gluten free lifestyle because of celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or as a dietary choice.
Who are we? We are two sisters who were diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005. At that time we struggled with understanding this condition, and how to manage our daily lives while trying to make the switch to a 100% gluten free diet. It was really difficult at first, and there were very few resources which could help us make the transition safely and easily. We started Gluten Free Vancouver in 2009 because we are passionate about celiac disease education and awareness, and helping others like us.
Our social media pages, which include facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest, receive a lot of interaction among local and international readers looking to share gluten free experiences and resources, and learn about new ones. Follow us as we navigate our gluten free lifestyles in Vancouver and abroad!
Andrea & Robyn
Frequenty Asked Questions
1. What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat (i.e. spelt, kamut, faro, and bulgar) as well as barley and rye. Gluten is not only found in wheat-based foods such as breads and pasta, it can be found in salad dressing, seasoning mixes, vitamins and even personal care products such as lip balm.
2. What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine. When gluten is ingested a reaction occurs in the body that damages the lining of the small intestine and affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. For more information on celiac disease, please visit www.celiac.ca.
3. Is Gluten Free Vancouver a store?
No, Gluten Free Vancouver is an online resource for those living with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. For more information, see our About Us section above.
4. I know of a business with gluten free products and/or a gluten free menu, can you add it to your Eat & Drink list?
We appreciate your suggestions, however, we will only add restaurants or bakeries to our list if we have tried it out first. This is because we want to be confident that our recommendations are safe for those with celiac disease.
5. Will you review my gluten free product or business on your website? Can we send you samples of our product?
We would be happy to discuss your gluten free product or business with you. Please send us more information by visiting our Contact page. Please note that we both have celiac disease, therefore, we may not be able to review your product or attend your event if it is not going to be safe for us.
6. I am visiting Vancouver, where can I find gluten free places to eat or shop?
Please visit our Eat & Drink page for a list of our recommendations. We have separated our list into dedicated gluten free and gluten free friendly places to go around Vancouver. We also have a list of grocery stores that have a good selection of gluten free products.
7. I am gluten, egg and dairy free. Help!
We are happy to help you find products that are gluten, egg and dairy free. Don’t panic, there are a variety of options for you. Please send us an email by visiting our Contact page. For a few recommendations see numbers 8 and 9 below.
8. Where can I find fresh gluten free bread?
You can purchase fresh gluten free bread from the Gluten Free Epicurean, Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery, or Panne Rizo. Lemonade’s breads are also dairy free with the exception of their Italian Cheese Bun. Panne Rizo also has a Vegan Chia gluten free bread option if you are also egg and dairy free.
9. What other gluten free bread products do you recommend?
10. What is your favorite gluten free pasta?
We highly recommend Catelli or Barilla’s gluten free pastas. Both brands are egg and dairy free and are made in a dedicated gluten free facility. These brands are also widely available in stores such as Save-On Foods, Safeway or Superstore.
11. What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Symptoms vary greatly from person to person. However, common symptoms include bloating, stomach pain, digestive issues, nutrient deficiencies (i.e. iron, B complex), headache, fatigue, nausea or skin rashes. Secondary disorders that are common with celiac disease include lactose intolerance, thyroid disorders (hyper or hypo), and diabetes among others. For more information, please visit www.celiac.ca.
12. I think I might have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, what should I do?
We recommend being tested for celiac disease before you decide to eliminate gluten from your diet. It is important to (hopefully) rule out celiac disease before you do anything else. If you don’t have celiac disease, then we recommend eliminating gluten from your diet to see how you feel. It is important to work with your doctor or naturopath, as well as a dietician.
13. How do you get tested for celiac disease?
The first step is a blood test. The testing will determine if you have certain antibodies that are related to having celiac disease. The second step is to consider having an endoscopy biopsy of the small intestine. The biopsy procedure is really the only sure way to know if you have celiac disease. If you are considering having this procedure and have questions for us, please send us an email by visiting our Contact page.
14. What grains are gluten free?
Gluten free grains include rice, corn, teff, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum, buckwheat and gluten free certified oats. Potatoes are gluten free. Spelt is NOT gluten free.
15. Where can I find gluten free beer? What brands do you recommend?
Gluten free beer is becoming more widely available, especially in Vancouver. See our Eat & Drink page for a list of the brands we recommend and where they are available.
16. I am hosting a gluten free event, will you promote it on your social media? Please contact us to discuss options available.