When Leah Webb’s first baby developed serious food allergies and intolerance, the public health professional retooled her family’s diet and adopted a hypervigilant awareness of foods. When her second child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, she doubled down into even more extensive research to optimize her children’s wellness with a “deeply nutritious” diet. The result is The Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Family Cookbook, with 135 nutrient-dense, easy-to-make recipes geared to families on restrictive diets and anyone looking for simpler, healthful ways to eat.
The book avoids foods that are disease promoting or that inflame the gut. Initial chapters deconstruct the complex molecular workings of the digestive and immune systems and their interconnection to physical and mental well-being. Webb points out how processed foods and “food-like substances”—many lurking in the higher-priced “health foods” supermarket aisles—negatively impact the body’s insulin levels, immune response, and even its overall acidity. Webb’s documentation of how grains and dairy products break down into harmful components is illuminating.
If one isn’t persuaded to take dietary action after those elegant summaries, the recipes will do the trick. They are based on whole foods and cooking from scratch, so many require advance kitchen work and planning to fit into busy family schedules. There are loads of tempting and kid-friendly recipes for meals, snacks, and holiday treats, from Mexican Shredded Beef to Cottage Pie to Strawberry Santas, with tasty photos of many finished dishes and cooking steps.
Filled with personal insights and convincing, clearly communicated nutritional advice, the book is a comprehensive healthy cooking resource and a heartfelt offering to other families with health issues. Webb’s essential food prep and time management strategies, recipes, menus, shopping lists, ideas for packed lunches, and extensive bibliography make this text a true gift for anyone with an interest in transforming their diet and health.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.