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Guest Post: Gillian’s Tips for the Gluten-Free Globetrotter

I’ve got a special treat for you this morning! A guest post from the impossibly lovely Gillian from Battle of the Bites. I bonded with Gillian earlier this year at a Chobani blogger event where we became fast friends over glasses of pinot, chatting about our mutual love of travel, healthy eats & Lena Dunham. The twenty-something trifecta.

Today Gillian will be writing about a topic that affects many of us, gluten-free or not, traveling with food allergies. With the holiday/vacation season quickly approaching (hello winter in Canada!) it seemed like a great time to chat about some of the ways you can satisfy your wanderlust without cheating on your happy belly! Enjoy! 


Meet Gillian.

I have a travel addiction and a gluten-allergy.

These things do not necessarily go well together. When travelling, we’re constantly being thrown into new situations, trying different kinds of food, and risking what I love to call “getting glutened”.

When I have gluten, in any small amount, my stomach blows up like I’m pregnant, I get sick to my stomach, suffer from terrible cramps and sometimes end up bed ridden. As anyone with a gluten allergy knows, it’s not fun, and it’s not smart to “cheat”.

Luckily the world is becoming more friendly to Celiacs and the gluten intolerant. Even Paris, my favourite bread and pastry loving city, is opening up gems like Helmut Newcake, a high end patisserie devoted solely to gluten-free goods and dishes.

When I was in Berlin this summer I went out for Thai food and was handed an entire gluten-free menu. I was so happy I could cry. I wanted to go back to the same restaurant every day.

When I’m not so lucky to stumble upon a miracle like this, the following tips are always helpful:

1. Booking your flight – most flights offer a gluten-free option. I often book
through expedia which doesn’t provide meal options and choose to bring my
own food (also for the sake of health and taste). I’ve learned that I can easily
get through airport security when flying to Europe with my big boxed salad
from Whole Foods.


2. Packing snacks and staples – this is an obvious but important note. I tend
to pack a ton of protein bars, nuts, protein powder, and some chocolate.
The protein bars are great for layovers or when you’re wandering around
a city lost and unsure of your meal options. If I’m going somewhere for an
extended time I’ll sometimes pack gluten-free flour or my favourite pancake

3. Language barriers and eating out– if you don’t speak the language, explaining
your allergy at a restaurant can be complicated (I tried in German, “Nein
gluten?!”) Gluten-free restaurant cards can be very helpful in getting
your point across clearly– there are 54 languages available (http:// If you speak the language, it’s always a good
idea to call ahead and warn them of your allergy.


4. Finding a place to stay – If your allergy is very serious there is even a gluten

free hotel guide – – for hotels
that will cater to your gluten sensitive desires. Personally, I like to rent
apartments through Air BnB where I have access to a kitchen. If I’m staying
in a regular hotel I’ll ask that the mini bar be emptied so that I can fill it with
snacks and fresh produce.

5. To the market we go – one of my favourite things about eating gluten-free
Is that it can mean eating more real food. I like to go to markets and stock
up on fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, olives, wine…whatever the local
delicacies (without wheat) are, I have to try it. Hunting down an organic
store also tends to be helpful in finding a great array of gluten-free products.

With these tips I’ve managed to travel with a happy belly through many cities.


I have a whole chapter on eating gluten-free in Paris in my upcoming book, so stay tuned on more info on how to eat crêpes and éclairs in the city of love (and pastries)!

Gillian’s current book The Guiltless Gourmet is available for purchase here and it is full to the brim with swoon-worthy gluten-free, whole food based recipes. The perfect Holiday gift for the G-Free folks in your life. Enjoy! 

blogs, cities, guest post

Healthy Living in an Urban Context

Good morning! How’s everyone managing with their emotional hangovers after Valentine’s Day? A little too much intensity maybe? Some high highs? Some low lows? Hours of self-contemplative processing with friends or partners?

Well it’s a new day and you can take comfort in the fact that all your drama does not have to get sorted out right now. Sure, decisions will need to be made but that will happen naturally in time and all this social pressure won’t help things along. So I suggest a February 15th emotional detox.

Read a magazine. Watch Downton Abbey. Return to that pile of abandoned knitting. Give that brain of yours the distractions it craves and your emotional well-being will thank you.

My contribution to your day of distraction? Go check out my guest post over at The Balance Project as part of the Canadian Healthy Living Blogger Series. I was honoured to participate in this series although I was pretty intimidated by the task of single-handedly representing Toronto. But I tried my best to write from my own experience while providing some helpful tips for cityfolks in general…I really hope you enjoy it!

Here’s a link to my post focusing on…

The Top 3 Obstacles to Healthy Living in An Urban Context (And How to Overcome Them!)

So far there have been posts from Saskatchewan, Northern Ontario & Yellowknife – you can check them all out here!

guest post, recipes, travel

Guest Post, Y’all: Gluten-Free Mixed Berry Muffins

Mornin Y’all!

The Healthy Hipster is on the road today…heading to AUSTIN, TEXAS of all places! A little while back one of my closest friends was going through some hard times and rather than let herself get any lower she decided to make a change. She packed up her books and a few sparce belongings and moved to a brand new city, in a brand new country to pursue a new kind of life for herself. While I’ve missed her terribly, I find it so dang inspiring that she did it in the first place I just can’t help but be supportive. And now I’m lucky enough to see her again while visiting a pretty cool city along the way…

Oh and just for fun Urban Dictionary defines the Austin Hipster as:

n. A pretentious, self-ironizing, cool person found in certain areas of Austin, Texas. The Austin hipster can be seen prancing around with a morose, pensive look on his face, while he’s secretly enjoying the urban experience. Aside from corrupting the music scene with his mere presence, this Central Texan herbivore also enjoys lounging around in coffee shops and writing poetry. This retro dork conceals the pride he has for whatever hipster shirt he’s sporting at the moment. While he considers himself a liberal, he’s actually supporting the system with his commercialized non-conformity.
Pahahaha. Enjoyable.
In the meantime, you have not been abandoned. My incredibly talented baking bestie Meg is back again! You may remember some of her delicious gluten-free baked goods from previous guest posts including these peanut butter cookies & this grain free bread (one of the most popular recipes on the blog!) This week she was kind enough to take the blogger reigns and share another one of her magical Gluten-Free, Vegan & Refined Sugar Free recipes with ya. She describes them as somewhere between a muffin and a scone. Since I trust her entirely with all things oven-related so I hope you will give these a whirl!
Mixed Berry Buckwheat Breakfast Scones (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)
2 cups light buckwheat flour (Or you can make your own by grinding raw buckwheat groats in a coffee grinder!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon saltWet
1 mashed banana
2 tbls ground flax seed
1 tbls ground chia seed
1/2 cup water
1 cup almond milk
3 tbls maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2- 2 cups frozen mixed berries *


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. grease a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl mash the banana and whisk together with the remaining wet ingredients.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, do not over-mix.
  6. Fold in frozen mixed berries.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the size of your muffin tin, for smaller muffins bake only 15-20 minutes.

Serve warm with your favorite spread (almond butter anyone?)
yield: 6 large muffins or 12 small/medium muffins
*frozen berries better maintain their shape and consistency better than fresh when baked.

Can’t wait to update on all my Austin adventures!
…srsly though can a girl survive on tacos, bbq and brunch alone?
guest post, inspiration, photojournal, travel

Guest Post: Mama Hipster’s Guide to Canoe “Tripping” in the Near North

The following is a guest post from one of the healthiest, hippest chicks I know….Oh, and she also happens to be my mother! A few years back Mama Hipster moved from urban/suburban Ontario to middle-of-nowhere Northern Ontario to be with her love (a happy-go-lucky backcountry ranger) and pursue her dreams of becoming an educator. These are her reflections on some recent experiences camping and canoeing in the Canadian wilderness. 

A dry bag, a compression bag, a Gerber tool, quick dry clothing, water purification; these were just a few of the things I needed to learn about when I decided to canoe and camp out to the middle of God’s country nowhere.

Glorious does not express what it was like on the River. The weather from the moment I left home until I returned was blue skies, hot summer sun in the day and fresh autumn air at night. The sounds were of paddles moving through water, wind rustling trees, loons, and Canadian geese flying 20 feet overhead in V’s, whippoorwills and chickadees waking me in the morning with their chirping. The smells were of earth, fire, food, coffee and fresh air. I only learned enough this summer about ‘tripping’ to go out for short periods at a time and it took a lot for this urban princess to get that far; but it was something I have dreamed about doing my whole life. The sensation of being alone in the wilderness, prepared to handle the elements is, I believe, not meant to be described. It is meant to be lived, cherished and let go of.


Some tips from my experiences:


I became aware that planning the route to your destination is crucial. One or two short portages are manageable, but if your packs are too heavy or not packed properly they can make a trip miserable and potentially unsafe for those not physically able to manage. Paddling in places where there are no portages is called a ‘floater’ trip; I highly recommend this when challenging yourself against the elements is not one of your goals.

TIP: ‘floater’ means no need to carry your packs and canoe over land because in this 50km section of the Spanish River there is no water that can’t be traversed (assuming you have at least one experienced paddler). Bottom line, easier and more fresh food can be taken along for your dining pleasure.


For meals:

I pre-cooked chicken and beef, packed the first day’s lunch in its own ‘clear dry sack’ separate from the other food, I placed food into plastic ‘lock-n-locks’ to take up as little space as possible and it all went into a barrel that seals and floats if your canoe dumps. Our dinner menus included Chicken stir fry for day one, Beef Fajitas for day two, veggie enhanced KD for day three with lots of salad fixings on the side.

For snacks:

We took eggs, ham, yogurt, cheese, crackers, pepperoni sticks, smoked almonds, ‘GORP’ – Good Old Raisins and Peanuts (and don’t forget to throw in some M&M’s) tuna, pickles and cracker thins to.

And to drink:

I (like my daughter) can’t survive anywhere without a good cup of coffee. So I took along pre-ground beans to brew in the camp percolator. I also brought along some tea which was a delight when we pulled off the river for the day and some exquisite Red and White cartons of Ontario wine that made our dinner time meals very civilized.

When I said to my partner Mike, “I wish I didn’t have to leave,” he says “the wilderness is not a place to go to escape from civilization.” The back country gave me a chance this summer to find solace in the simplicity of just existing; each day was unique and long like those I remember from childhood. I think we all live in two interconnected ‘wild worlds’ – a bustling urban landscape and an untouched wilderness.

Surviving the crash of these two worlds is not always comfy but it is thrilling.