August 30, 2016

Meet the Speakers

Meet our esteemed speakers, who will be joining our stage in Vancouver! Please note that speakers and presentations are subject to change, so check back frequently!

The Gluten Free Expo would not be possible without the kind support of our sponsors. A special thank you goes to these kind community supporters:

Desiree Nielsen

Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian, author and host of the vegetarian cooking show, The Urban Vegetarian on Gusto TV. Desiree takes an evidence-based, integrative approach to her dietetics work, with a focus on anti-inflammatory, plant-centred nutrition and digestive health.

Desiree is passionate about making evidence-based nutrition accessible to others; her new app, MyHealthyGut, helps introduce people to better digestive wellbeing and her book, Un-Junk Your Diet, is a primer to help anyone cut the nutrition clutter and reconnect to real food.

Desiree is a trusted expert for all things nutrition and digestion; she is a regular contributor to Breakfast Television and Global News in BC in addition to being featured in national media such as Chatelaine and Best Health Magazine, The Social and E-Talk.


Visit Desiree’s Website / FacebookInstagram

Jess Pirnak

Jess is a Registered Dietitian & Certified Wellness Coach based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She graduated from UBC’s Food Nutrition and Health program, and completed her dietetic internship with Provincial Health Services Authority after finishing a Psychology degree from SFU.

Jess is passionate about education, prevention and creating a healthy community. She is an advocate for the power of food and its connection to health. With an extensive background in retail dietetics Jess understands the natural food sector and the importance of a sustainable food system. She is also the in-house dietitian advisor for the Canadian Celiac Association – Vancouver Chapter. Her focus is in plant-based eating, celiac disease and gut health.

Visit Jess’s Website / Twitter / Instagram


Shallah Panjwani

Shallah received a Bachelor of Science with a major in Dietetics from the University of British Columbia and has completed a dietetic internship. In addition, she has her certification in the prevention and recovery of Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating.

Shallah is a registered dietitian and a member of the College of Dietitians of BC as well as Dietitians of Canada. She has over 25 years of experience working in Nutrition and Dietetics and has received training in Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. She has been voted top 15 dietitians in Vancouver by Crowd Wellness.

         Visit Shallah’s Website


Dr. David Wang, ND

Dr. David has been practicing Naturopathic Medicine for the past 25 years. He is a past president of the BC Naturopathic Association, and the founder of the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster BC, where he continues to lecture.

Dr. David has dedicated his life to educating his patients and the public about the power of food as medicine. He regularly tours across Canada teaching people about his successful Naturopathic approach to stress management.

Visit David’s Website


Cooking Stage

Anne-Marie Stelluti

Anne-Marie Stelluti is a registered dietitian with a passion for gut health. She loves to help people feel their best naturally through food and lifestyle. As the business owner of Modern Gut Health, she provides expert counseling for people with gut disorders, including IBS and FODMAPs.

She graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutritional sciences and is a member of the College of Dietitians of BC and Dietitians of Canada. She has given talks for the GI Society in Vancouver, the Gluten Free Expo, and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Canada.

For free daily tips on digestive health and nutrition, follow her Facebook page: Modern Gut Health

Visit Anne-Marie’s Website / Facebook

Jen Laurie

Jen Laurie is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and successful Social Entrepreneur with Epicure. She’s a mom of 4 young children, 2 of whom have required a gluten free diet for several years now. She’s an advocate for clean eating and passionately shares how to implement simple changes to make a big difference in people’s health.


Visit Jen’s Website / Facebook


Dawn Levelton

Dawn Levelton is a nutritionist, nature lover, whole foodie and plant powered cook.  She is the founder of Back to Roots NutrItion in Steveston, B.C. offering private classes & group cooking workshops to activity lovers wanting to learn how to create plant powered meals and snacks to feed their body and energy naturally. 

Dawn’s experience and passion for working with food began at the young age of 8 when she took her first cooking class. After that, she was hooked! Being a vegetarian had it’s challenges in a household of steadfast meat eaters so she became the family cook creating nutritious meals to fuel their busy, active lifestyles. Dawn’s curiosity for nutrition further developed in her 20’s as she experienced changes in her health from a parasitic infection that compromised her digestive system. Determined to eat her way back to health she turned “back to her roots” and started eating the organic seasonal whole foods she grew up with on her family farm, and also went gluten and dairy free. Within a few months, Dawn’s digestive system recovered and the allergies she suffered as a teen found much relief. It was then she decided to turn her passion for food and nutrition into a career and now teaches others how to cook plant powered meals to fuel their outdoor lifestyle and health naturally.

Visit Dawn’s Website / Facebook

Jen Peters

Chef Jen created her baking blend and wrote the Nextjen recipe book after two years of determination to bake gluten-free deliciously. She previously worked as an Executive Chef for award-winning restaurants in London and Vancouver.



Visit Jens’s Website / Facebook


Hamid Salimian

Known for his soulful modern cuisine, Chef Hamid is the Captain of Culinary Team Canada and a creative consultant for restaurants in Vancouver. He is also the one behind the camera as food photographer for Nextjen



Visit Hamid’s Website / Facebook


Ken Schneider

Ken is a veteran entrepreneur, lover of story, sales and marketing pro, incurable connector, good-conversation junkie, food and farm enthusiast, amateur scientist, wordsmith and three-beer philosopher. He believes business is best done with people you enjoy, a sense of fun, trust, respect, honour and enthusiasm. Ken believes we humans are a compilation of all the good and bad gifts we give each other so he strives daily to give only good gifts…and freely admits when he falls short of the mark.

Ken was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., has two sons, a dog, five guitars, hundreds of vinyl records, thousands of books and one woman he can’t live without.

Visit Ken’s Website