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New Year New Events New Blog (Posted On: Tuesday, January 15, 2013)

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Like many, I have started the New Year with a dietary adjustment as part of tweaking my ongoing (and ongoing and ongoing) quest for fitness and have decided to go gluten free. I have done some investigating about where to dine and shop. We have a brand new blog and we have some exciting events coming to our region including Winterfest, Wiskeylicious, NordicFest, the Meridian Polar Bear Dip and the Mookie Wilson Baseball clinic.

Going gluten free (and I already have seen results after just one week) has led me to investigate gluten free grocery shopping and dining options in the area. Sarah Heipel of Good Energy Coach (my favourite coach) tells me that the benefits of going gluten free are many, but if your goal is to lose weight the number one benefit by going gluten free is to improve digestion and reduce bloating which will make you feel better and you’ll see results quickly. By avoiding foods containing gluten you’re also avoiding foods that contribute to weight gain and contain very little nutritional value.

Breakfast is a great place to start with a gluten free diet. We have a brand new category on our website that is called Breakfast & Bakery. Makks Homestyle offers gluten free toast.

When it comes to gluten free dining in the area, we’re lucky because we have so many talented chefs that are more than happy to accommodate special diets. If you don’t see anything on the menu that suits you, you can be sure if you ask your server for a gluten free option - you will be accommodated. Here is a link to all of the unique restaurants in the region.

Pure Organic Juice and Food Bar should be your first stop. The food is amazing – all RAW all GMO free and gluten free.

Chef Bob Bickmore of Catch 22 Fresh Market Grill has taken great care in creating his new menu. The gluten free options are huge.

The Hungry Sumo is another excellent option and so is 98 Super Panda. Anita makes all of her sauces from scratch. Her menu features special diet plates where you can get steamed vegetables and your gluten free sauces on the side.

Tesoro offers gluten free pasta Tesoro also has a Mercato where you can purchase their amazing sauce and take it home – lie to your dinner guests and pretend you made it from scratch. Azzurra makes everything fresh to order and will accommodate any dietary concern. The food is fantastic – hello $1 corkage fee on Tuesdays.

Chef Eric Madden of the Beild House will accommodate any special dietary requests. Most people think of The Beild House as a Bed and Breakfast and don’t realize that dining is open to the public. Check it out. Advance reservations are a must.

Espresso Post has gluten free Cashew Cookies, brownies and soups that are homemade and delicious.

Don’t forget about The Pottery. Their menu says they offer gluten free options. Chef Mario at Brunello 27 of Fourth will also accommodate gluten free requests.

When it comes to shopping for groceries, most folks that are gluten free know that all of the major supermarkets, like Metro, Loblaw and Sobeys have gluten free options, but do you know about the new Collingwood Food Co-op? Located at 65 Simcoe Street in downtown Collingwood you’ll find an awesome shopping experience just waiting for you. and don’t forget about the new Bulk Barn on First Street. Good Health Mart on Hurontario has some great stuff and you should also take a look at JACS in Stayner. The Market in Meaford (between Thornbury and Meaford off Highway 26) is well worth the drive. You can place your order right on their website.

We would like to welcome Dr. Laura Vanderaa, ND to the team. Laura is a licensed naturopathic doctor and certified yoga instructor. Her naturopathic practice Awaken Wellness Within is located in the heart of downtown Collingwood. She can be found teaching yoga at Buddha Rider Yoga & Cycle studio. Laura has a new blog on called Awaken Wellness Within. Check it out

South Georgian Bay is kicking off the New Year with 10 full days (and nights) of Winterfest ... a festival that celebrates our area's finest outdoor winter adventures, local food and fun family entertainment from January 18th to the 27th.

This year there are 9 locations in Downtown Collingwood participating in Whiskeylicious – some of which will have ICE BARS for you to come out and experience…while you are enjoying the chef’s culinary creations and special offers…made from our very own Collingwood Whisky!

Another year with NordicFest up at Scenic Caves. It’s one of my favourite winter events up here located at one of my favourite places. It’s really great to see families getting out and trying a new sport or just getting together for a day of outside play time in the winter. For all of the NordicFest details visit their website

Baseball fans will want to know about the Mookie Wilson Baseball clinic on February 9th at Smith Brother’s Baseball Central in New Lowell. Mookie Wilson is a former member of the New York Mets and the Toronto Blue Jays. There is also a gala dinner planned for the same date. Check our events calendar for more details

Polar Bear Dip anyone? Join the staff of Meridian’s Collingwood branch as they host the first annual Collingwood Polar Bear Dip on Sunday, February 24th at Sunset Point. Polar Bear dippers will enter Georgian Bay waters at noon and, with temperatures averaging around -2°C to -6°C, hot tubs will be provided for dippers to soak their chills away. Register today and collect pledges to help reach the goal of $10,000. All funds raised go to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Foundation for digital imaging equipment, as part of their New Age of Care campaign. Raise $100 and you will be eligible to win an iPad, kindly donated by Blue Mountain Honda! For more information and to register go to or visit the Collingwood Meridian branch, at 171 St. Marie Street.

There is always a great line up of events at Blue Mountain and the Blue Mountain Village. Check our events calendar for the details and you can always check out the Blue Mountain Slope Side Blog for updates. would like to welcome our new clients:

Companions for Life K-9 Training Services By Melanie MacLachlan. Here to help you and your best friend understand each other for a long and happy life together. We offer training services for any age of dog from puppy through to intermediate and advanced. Private training & group lessons available.
Various locations, Collingwood ON -T: 519.599.7343

Rick's Pro Ski Shop serving the area for over 15 years. We offer basic and race ski tunes, as well as equipment rentals including snowshoes and are conveniently located at the base of the North End of Blue Mountain. Open from 8am-5pm to 7 days a week with extended hours during high ski season. We stock a wide range of hard and soft goods including skis, boots, boards, goggles, glasses, socks, base layers, toques. Whether you’re an experienced racer or just beginning do yourself a good turn and check out Rick’s Pro Shop.
796466 Grey Road 19 - North End of Blue, Blue Mountains ON - T: 705.444.5525

The Spa House is committed to exceeding your expectations while creating lasting relationships based on trust and understanding what will help make a positive difference in your life. Time flexibility and quality products with personalized treatments to achieve your physical, mental, and emotional needs is the goal. Reducing stress, making you feel better about yourself, listening to your needs and delivering, but simply, putting a smile on your face is the success of THE SPA HOUSE. Using the finest natural ingredients with 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils from all over the world. No synthetics and naturally derived preservatives.
191 Hurontario Street, Collingwood ON - T: 705.309.6247

Beild House Country Inn - Located in the heart of historic Downtown Collingwood, Beildhouse Country Inn is a Bed & Breakfast Hotel with 12 nicely appointed rooms. There is a full service spa located on the premises as well as a dining room that will seat up to 30 people for all sorts of dining occasions. All meals are made from scratch using top drawer ingredients and techniques. Spa and dining is open to the public by reservation only.
64 Third Street, Collingwood ON - T: 705.444.1522

Bistro 26 - Come experience our passion for fine foods, at market fresh prices. Our fresh whole foods concepts will satisfy; from lunch to dinner, our innovative comfort foods will delight your senses. Try one of our delicious offerings off the menu, or perhaps one of the chef’s daily specials, starting from $8- With a variety of daily fresh baked items, friendly /knowledgeable staff, and a unique venue to turn your average meal into a dining experience, beautiful Bistro 26 awaits you! Catering required?? Not a problem. From business luncheon, to Black tie, our qualified staff has you covered. With a combined 80 + years experience in the industry, Bistro 26 is here for you. Call today to inquire about your next event, or to make your reservation.
5195 Highway 26 East, Stayner ON - T: 705.428.4703

Get out there and enjoy Winter!

Julie Card

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