Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Love Loblaws

I love Loblaws for a few reasons (for American readers, Loblaws is part of a major Canadian grocery store chain). The Joe fresh section, the selection or organics, and most importantly their customer service at head office. I love to cook, so I make virtually everything. That being said, I do a lot of grocery shopping.

A few weeks ago, my sister pointed out that there is a planters peanuts dispenser located at the exit, and she noticed peanut shells all over the floor. I never noticed this before, so prior to taking the next step of calling customer service I went to check it out myself, and saw the same thing. My biggest concern was that customers would buy some of the peanuts, touch their grocery carts, and then the next customer would touch the cart. If I was the next customer, or if a young child sitting in the cart with an allergy touched the handle this could potentially lead to anaphylaxis. For those without an allergy, this may sound extreme, but for me, this is a real concern. I happen to be the type to wipe down the cart with some Purell from my purse and a baby wipe before I touch it anyways but I’m sure most people don't.

First I emailed the company with a picture of the area. No response. A week later, I went back to the store, and I addressed the concern with one of the floor managers who explained that the dispenser is privately owned. I then called the head office while roaming through the aisles doing my shopping and the lady on the other end assured me someone would get back to me in a few days and she apologized for the lack of response to my email. Fair enough. Well... yesterday I got a call from head office to inform me that the manager has agreed to remove the dispenser from the floor. Victory!



Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Favorite Things... #1

I decided to compile a list of my favorite things, they will all be allergy related of course. I will talk about these things in separate postings in order for each one to have a moment in the spotlight.

The first is Oliver’s labels. My son attends daycare, so everything needs to be labeled. I send him with lunch everyday, so he has about a dozen or so food containers and sippy cups that are on a constant rotation. His sippy cups, cutlery, clothing, jacket, even his shoes are all labeled. I found the perfect solution at Oliver’s labels. has these adorable sticky labels that have a no nuts logo next to his name. They come in all different sizes for shoes, containers, clothing and so on. Even though his daycare is peanut/nut free and I send him food from home, the no nuts symbol serves as yet another reminder that he is allergic. I have a friend whose daughter attends a different daycare, and she is allergic to dairy. For the first few weeks when she started her daycare, she sent her with one of these stickers on her shirt!

The labels have been through the dishwasher and laundry countless times, and they are showing no signs of wear and tear. A great find. Check it out at



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Food Labelling Regulations

After years of advocating for clear and accurate labelling, the Canadian government announced yesterday that they have passed the food labelling regulations we've all been waiting for. Effective August 2012, any hidden ingredients will have to be listed. This is great news for anyone with an allergy, or with celiac disease. It is the expectation that labels will be clear. For example, in the case of a product with sesame, instead of listing seasonings as an ingredient, the new regulation would require the word sesame to be written.

The one catch is the Health Minister did not pass this regulation to the brewery industry. So... the campaign continues, but at least this is a step in the right direction.



Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Personally, I am not a big fan of Valentines day. By Tuesday, Valentines day displays will be over, and Easter will take over.

As far as the chocolate treats are concerned, many companies in Canada have jumped on the peanut free bandwagon so there are choices out there, but nothing compares to a homemade chocolate dessert prepared with love for Valentines Day. This recipe is super easy to prepare, but it does require some last minute baking for the ‘lava’ effect. The batter can be prepared in advance.

Molten Lava Cakes:

• 1 cup unsalted butter
• 8 ounces chocolate (I like Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips for this recipe)
• 5 eggs
• 1/2 cup sugar
• ½ tsp of salt
• 4 teaspoons sifted flour
• 12 regular muffin cups OR 9 large muffin cups
• Cooking spray

In a double boiler OR microwave melt chocolate and butter.
Beat eggs, sugar and salt, then add this to the chocolate mixture and beat until smooth.

Add the sifted flour and mix until incorporated. Line 12 regular muffin cups (sprayed with cooking spray such) and preheat oven to 450. NOTE: if using large size cups the recipe will only yield 8-9 cakes.

Divide the batter among the cups and bake for approx 7-10 minutes.

Remove the papers, and serve immediately. I like to garnish with a mint leaf and raspberries or strawberry slices.



Sunday, February 6, 2011


A dating website for singles with food allergies. I saw an add for this site while perusing an allergy website recently. I am all for internet dating, I actually met my husband online, as did my sister in law, and my best friend.

I can totally understand why someone came up with this idea, in fact i'm surprised it wasn't me who came up with it! About 8 years ago, I was set up with this guy and we went on a few dates. I told him about my allergy even before the first date because any restaurant we went to had to be peanut free. He appeared to be somewhat sensitive towards the allergy but made mention of how he missed certain snacks with peanut butter more than once. I was young and should have known better at the time. We dated for about 2 months, I even took him to my sister's wedding. The video later had to be edited to remove any shots of him! In any case a few months after it ended, a friend of mine told me that she knew someone who also went on a few dates with this same guy, and that on their date he openly told her that he was not interested in girls with medical problems. He even told her that he once broke up with someone because she had juvenile diabetes, and another girl because she had a peanut/nut allergy. As for the peanut allergy girl, he was obviously referring to me! The biggest laugh of all is that this guy is a doctor!! Anyways, I hear he's still single…shocking.

All to say, that this website seems like a great idea!