Party Planning Tips for Guests with Food Allergies and Other Restrictions

Event and party planning can feel overwhelming, especially if there are guests with food restrictions. Here are some tips for both the host and the guest.

Tips for Host:

  • If a guest has an anaphylaxis reaction, immediately call 911.
  • Err on the side of caution by not having the specific allergen present, if possible.
  • Alert caterer/staff/servers about guests with food allergies.
  • Provide a similar looking food for the child with a food restriction. For example, if guests are having cupcakes and a child has celiac, purchase a gluten-free cupcake for that child.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Consider a party planner for a larger event.

Tips for Guest:

  • Inform your host of your food restrictions in advance of the event. Don’t be shy.
  • Add your food restrictions on the rsvp card or send a note to the host
  • If you have severe food allergies and are worried about the host not being able to adequately accommodate your food allergy, consider eating before the event.
  • Having a food allergy is never something to be embarrassed about.
  • Always carry epinephrine if you have a food allergy.

For more, listen to AFN’s podcast about how to plan a party for guests with food allergies

All content provided or opinions expressed in this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner.



Sports Nutrition & Supplements: An Olympic Athlete’s Story

Food is fuel and for athletes this concept is extremely important. Whether you take part in sports recreationally or you’re a weekend warrior, proper nutrition is crucial to success.

“Eating a balanced amount of carbohydrate, fat and protein is important to play sports at your best” according  to this article published on the Dietitians of Canada website.

Athletes often push their bodies past what might be physically possible, and they require foods with high nutritional density for peak performance. It is also important to focus on real foods. According to Olympic athlete Meagan Duhamel who was interviewed by Alternative Food Network on its podcast about sports nutrition, this means having foods with high nutritional content first (things like quinoa or legumes) and not focusing on foods that might fit the bill in terms of caloric or fat intake but have no real nutritional value.

The Vegan Athlete

It has become somewhat of a trend for athletes to adopt a vegan diet and in AFN’s podcast, Duhamel talks about her specific needs as a vegan athlete and someone who is training. She also talks about the use of supplements but stresses real foods first, supplements second.

That being said, there are certain supplements that Duhamel herself takes such as iron and B12. If you are a vegan athlete, it is important to know that the type of iron offered by plant-based foods is less absorbable than the iron that comes from animal-based foods. According to Duhamel, while she eats vitamin C-rich foods with iron-based foods in order to increase absorption of the iron, she also takes an iron supplement. Similarly, people and specifically athletes who are vegan should consider supplementing B12 as this vitamin is not abundant in plant-based foods.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods & Recovery

Training differs everyday for athletes and it’s a good idea to plan recovery snacks and meals. Recovery foods help to reduce dreaded inflammation and can help repair sore and tight muscles. Duhamel says foods with flavonoids – what gives fruits and vegetables their colour – help to reduce inflammation and strengthen collagen in the body. Turmeric (curcumin) is also an excellent anti-inflammatory that can help with pain.  Some of Duhamel’s favourite snacks post training are pineapple with hemp seeds and sweet potatoes.


Hydration is a key component in sport. Duhamel recommends water or coconut water. Particularly if you sweat a lot in your sport, Duhamel also recommends adding some salt to water in order to add sodium to help replace lost electrolytes. And, beware of sugary sports drinks filled with artificial sugars.

You can find the full podcast on Alternative Food Network’s website or click here to listen.

All content provided or opinions expressed in this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

L’alimentation idéale pour un cerveau en santé

Listen to “L’alimentation idéale pour un cerveau en santé” on Spreaker. Peu importe votre âge, il n’est jamais trop tôt ou trop tard pour commencer à manger de façon à  soutenir nos fonctions cérébrales. Dans cette baladodiffusion, Dr. Guylaine Ferland, Ph.D. se joint à Stéphanie Julien, ND.A pour discuter de ce que nous devrions manger pour un cerveau en santé.  À quel âge devrions-nous commencer et si nous le pouvons réellement, comment améliorer nos fonctions cognitives en changeant notre alimentation?

You Just Never Know: Introducing AFN’s French Language Podcast Series

You never know what can happen when you meet someone at a conference or networking event. There I was, standing in line for my guilty pleasure to see cast members from the hit tv show This Is Usat South by Southwest in Austin when I struck up a conversation with the person in line behind me. It turned out we were both from Canada; he from Montreal and me from Toronto. We talked about what we were doing at the festival. In our conversation I mentioned that I was contemplating producing some French language podcasts and he told me he knew a great person with whom I should speak.

Fast forward three months. I’m writing this blog from the balcony of a lovely European-style hotel in Montreal after overseeing the recording of three French language podcasts for AFN. Not only did the gentleman in line with me that day in Austin record and edit the podcasts, but the host is indeed that same person he had recommended to me three months earlier.

For all of you French speakers out there, we hope you enjoy these podcasts. Click here to listen to the first one.

Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Status Update

Cannabis Blog Post - AFN copy

As of October 17, 2018, Canadians will be able to legally purchase and consume recreational cannabis.

Currently, Canada is in the midst of the transition period before the Cannabis Act comes into full force, with provinces and cities across Canada preparing for this day. But what about edibles and infused beverages? Not so fast. Sale of these goods will be permitted within 12 months following the Cannabis Act coming into force which is sometime in 2019. The Government of Canada is taking more time to develop and implement regulations for these goods. Child safety, food safety and dosing standards are just some of the complex issues that need to be considered.  Not to mention public education. There is a lot of misinformation and lack of knowledge about cannabis.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) v. Cannabidiol (CBD)

The cannabis plant contains numerous chemical substances, over 100 of which are cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is known for its psychoactive properties and producing a “high”. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a “high”.