Those new to a gluten-free diet will find this smart cookbook informative and helpful.
For those recently diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, Marlisa Brown offers a smart, comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide and cookbook for those wrestling with their new dietary restrictions. Brown’s style is clear and direct, taking the content from a discussion of early signs of the disease to managing and thriving with the diagnosis.
Brown, a registered dietitian, chef, author, diabetes educator, and gluten-free advisor brings her varied expertise to this volume. The book begins with detailed information to help people to either pursue a diagnosis or confirm one. From there, Brown establishes what exactly will change with a gluten-free diet, being particularly clear about one fact: with other diets, people can cheat. There is no cheating with a gluten-free diet; even the smallest amount of gluten can negatively affect someone with celiac disease. She helps readers establish a viable shopping list, reviewing labels as well as offering a fairly comprehensive glossary of words indicating wheat- and gluten-free products. A simple thirty-day sample menu can help those inexperienced with cooking and/or dieting with what their new food life might look like. The menus appear to be nutritionally balanced, varied, and easy to prepare.
In addition to the practical concerns she presents, Brown also offers a chapter of encouragement as well as chapters on helping children cope with a diagnosis, managing family and friends and their knowledge and expectations, dining out (which features a long list of national chains and gluten-free products available at these outlets), and the possibility of weight loss with this kind of diet.
The book also features a number of recipes across ethnic genres, including Asian, Latin, and Mediterranean favorites. Though the recipes will bring little that is new to foodies, they introduce a nice variety to the beginner or reluctant cook. A stronger table of contents and an index would make for easier access to the recipes.
Ideally, the reader of this book would be someone newly considering a gluten-free lifestyle, whether because of an actual diagnosis or a suspicion of one. The information, clear language, and tone will be of great help in reducing the frustration of adopting something new and potentially scary.
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