Ricki Heller is the voice behind the popular food blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs, which celebrates sugar-free, gluten-free, allergy-friendly whole foods through an anti-candida lifestyle. With over 600 foolproof recipes, humorous anecdotes and comments from two chatty canines, the blog illustrates Ricki’s philosophy that “a healthy lifestyle can be sweet.” In 2011, Diet, Dessert and Dogs was nominated for the SHAPE Magazine “Best Healthy Eating Blog.”
Ricki is also a bestselling cookbook author who has worked with food for over 20 years. Her first cookbook, Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar caught the eye of Ellen DeGeneres and is one of only three cookbooks recommended on DeGeneres’s website. In addition to Sweet Freedom, Ricki has written three anti-candida ebooks.
Although Ricki holds a PhD in Modern American Literature, food and cooking have always been her heart’s passion. Early in her career, Ricki’s love of baking led to a 5-year stint as a dessert caterer after a colleague asked her to provide desserts for her wedding. Later, she ran an organic bakery that provided healthy muffins, cookies and other treats to stores across the Toronto area.
After being diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Ricki first began to change her eating habits and realized how much the food we eat influences or health. Later, after suffering from candida and following an anti-candida diet for more than 3 years, she determined to learn more about the healing power of foods and obtained her Registered Holistic Nutritionist designation from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
These days, Ricki still shares her recipes via cooking classes for the Loblaws chain of supermarkets, as well as through her blog and books. She’s currently working on a second cookbook that will offer allergy-friendly desserts appropriate for anyone on a low glycemic diet. Her articles and recipes have appeared in Clean Eating magazine, Living Without Magazine, Canadian Living Magazine, Zoomer.com, Tonic Toronto and others. She’s also a regular contributor to The Balanced Platter and Fitalicious.com.
Ricki’s television appearances include Canada AM, CityTV’s Breakfast Television, as a featured guest on York Region Living, In the Know, and as a regular guest on Rogers’ daytime (York Region and Toronto). She was also a speaker at the inaugural Nourished conference in 2012.
Ricki lives and works in Vaughan, Ontario, with her husband and two lab-border collie cross dogs. She is thrilled to be part of the Simply Gluten-Free team and can’t wait to share more healthy vegan recipes in future issues!