About Selena De Vries, RD
- Selena is a Registered Dietitian living with celiac disease who helps individuals that struggle with digestion find food freedom. At Healthbean Nutrition, Selena understands that celiac disease not only effects our physical health but also effects our emotional health. As such, Selena uses an integrative approach in the management of digestive health conditions. She offers free group support for those with celiac disease/gluten sensitivity as well as offering nutrition coaching for digestive health conditions. Services are offered both online and in the beautiful Okanagan valley.
I’m sure many of you can agree, that it can be so disappointing when you put the time and effort into baking a special treat and it doesn’t work out. Trust me, I have been there and it is no fun (let alone expensive)!
Early on in my diagnosis when I first experimented with gluten free baking, I remember making these rock hard pancakes and they were just awful. Literally, you needed a steak knife to cut through them. Like, honestly, you wouldn’t think gluten free pancakes could be so difficult. But, they absolutely were for me!
Gluten free baking is an art. One that needs trial and error and a lot of practice. Going through the last five years, however, I have collected some tried and true recipes, tips, and tricks that I want to share with you so you can embark on gluten free holiday baking with success!
Three Tips for Successful Gluten-Free Holiday Baking
1. Use a tried and true gluten free all purpose flour blend.
Ok, this is a big one because there are multiple all purpose blends out there claiming to be the ‘best.’ Here are top rated all purpose flour blends from myself and also other celiacs.
It is especially important to use a good all purpose blend when you are trying to convert family favourite gluten filled recipes to gluten free.
- President’s Choice All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
- Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking, Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- Betty Crocker Gluten Free Mixes
2. Use tested recipes and/or family favorite recipes when trying to covert gluten filled recipes to gluten free, and use well known gluten free cookbooks and blogs that understand gluten free baking.
Out of the millions of blogs out there, it can be hard to source out the good ones, so I have done some work for you!
- Bojon Gourmet (contains gluten and gluten free recipes). Alanna is a pastry baker that knows her stuff when it comes to gluten free baking. Her recipes are great for those who love baking, want their baking to turn out, taste delicious, and want to experiment with more nutritious, gluten free flours other than your typical rice flours and starches.
- Gluten Free On A Shoestring. This is a well-known blog in the celiac community that puts out gluten free recipes that work time and time again. Nicole Hunn is a gluten free baking guru!
- Gluten Free Living. This is a magazine that has tons of gluten free recipes for all of your holidays needs and beyond!
3. Utilize the Canadian Celiac Association Group FB group
This is an amazing community with over 8,000 individuals needing to follow a gluten free diet due to medical necessity. The group also contains family/friends who need to support those who need to follow a gluten free diet. People that live gluten free everyday are some of the best resources there are when it comes to baking!
My favorite suggestion: Utilize the ‘search’ function on the left hand side to search for a recipe and it will pull up threads that people have posted before! Or, just leave a comment with your question or recipe need and within minutes you will have replies.
Some recent threads included recipes for gluten free sugar cookies and snickerdoodles!
Selena’s Favorite Holiday Recipes
- Soft and Chewy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men
- Gluten-Free Oatmeal Teff Chocolate Chip Cookies & Cookie Mix Gift in a Jar
- Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkles
Living in the Okanagan or anywhere in British Columbia? View Selena’s services or book an appointment!
- “I contacted Selena when I still wasn’t feeling well a year after my celiac diagnosis. I’d read so much on the Internet I thought I knew everything I needed to know. I was wrong.
- Selena has important advice on how to do GF properly (it’s not as straightforward as I thought) and for regaining your health. She is organized, punctual, and professional. And she has celiac disease herself , so she gets it.
- I think a lot of us, by the time we’re diagnosed, have had more than our share of health care practitioners and may not want to bother with a dietitian.
- Selena played a crucial role in my recovery, and I would highly recommend her, whether you’re newly diagnosed or just trying to feel better.”
- ~ Charlene (long-distance celiac disease client)
- HEALTHBEAN NUTRITION specializes in digestive health. We deliver easy to digest, bite-size pieces of information so our clients can, finally, achieve the healthy & happy digestive system they’ve been striving for. Learn more ...
- HEALTHBEAN PHILOSOPHY– Selena employs elimination diets and/or a specific diets in accordance with her clients’ conditions, and only when deemed necessary. She reserves advice about the gluten-free diet for those who require it – not those choosing to follow the diet as a lifestyle choice. Expect clear, concise instructions on the appropriate diet for you and, maybe even some myth busting! Learn more …
Selena knows first-hand how her undiagnosed celiac disease affected her physical and emotional health. After telling her that, “Well, you have celiac disease,” her MD suggested she, “google the diet,” and out the door she went. Sound familiar?
That’s why Selena established Healthbean Nutrition. She is dedicating her education, personal insights and her own recovery to helping her fellow celiacs make this enormous lifestyle transition – and find joy in eating again! Learn more …
Selena’s Road to Diagnosis
- “When I was going through university, I was exhausted, ALL the time. I had to drag myself out to hang out with friends, and if I had it my way I would have spent most days in bed sleeping. It was not unknown for me to sleep 12-16 hours a day. Call me crazy, but I related it all to the busy-ness of school. I was even checked for anemia at one point (common with celiacs) and I was ‘fine.’
- The symptoms continued through school and the brain fog was undeniable. I distinctly remember during my dietetic internship (like a medical residency except everything is nutrition based) at Kelowna General Hospital sitting in the office, charting on a patient and, literally, feeling like my brain was so fuzzy that I could barely keep my eyes from nodding off. It was awful.
- Another thing I didn’t pay much attention to, was bowels. I was always constipated. Never the other way around. Never. And, I also remember mentioning this to my gastroenterologist just before the endoscopy and he said ‘oh, well with your very low antibody levels and constipation, there is a very low chance that you are actually celiac but we will proceed with the endoscopy since you’re prepped and ready to go.’
- The piece of paper I received after the endoscopy said to follow up with my GP. I did follow up with my GP and the report came back positive for celiac disease. My GP said “well, you’re celiac. But, you’re a dietitian, right, so this should be easy for you!”
- Perhaps I had a leg up in the nutrition part of it, but I think we all know that the gluten free diet is not a walk in the park. And, although, I am so appreciative of the medical care I received, it did open my eyes to the lack of knowledge within the medical community when it came to celiac disease and the lack of support offered to individuals with celiac disease.
That’s how Healthbean Nutrition was born!
- *Information and perspectives posted on The Celiac Scene are intended to provide general information, without independent verification on the part of The Celiac Scene for the accuracy of the information provided to it. The information is specifically not intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by your physician or other health care professional. Always consult your own physician or other health care professionals about any medical questions, diagnosis, or treatment, especially before trying any diet. Healthbean Nutrition does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on any content contained herein.