A Gluten Free Survival Guide
by Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Something I didn't know about Elisabeth Hasselbeck was that she was a contestant on CBS's Survivor ! It's because of being on the show and practically starving for 39 days in the Australian Outback that she was on the road to discovering what was making her ill. Even though she was eating very little she was feeling great! (The first time in 3 years!) She joked that she must be allergic to The United States! But she realized that her body must be fighting something she was eating because her body was doing great not eating. So when she came back to the United States after the show, she decided she would slowly reintroduce foods one at a time to see which were making her sick. Long story short - she discovered that starchy foods were what brought on her symptoms. Wheat! And after a bit of research on the internet she found some info on gluten intolerance and 'Celiac Disease'. "Celiac disease is a digestive disorder characterized by a toxic reaction to gluten, the protein found in certain grains. Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning it's in your gene pool; chronic, meaning it's won't go away ever; and autoimmune, meaning it causes the body to attack itself." She was finally diagnosed with celiac disease (after years of visiting lots of doctors) and she was on her way to living a better life.
The G-Free Diet is easy to read and is jam packed with great information about celiac disease & gluten intolerance. From symptoms to living with celiac disease, from food that's OK to eat to cooking G-free (and that means cooking for people who aren't gluten intolerant & how to set up a G-Free kitchen!) Elisabeth takes a positive view and doesn't talk about eliminating gluten, but replacing gluten with healthier, delicious, more natural foods. And from the looks of it, there are plenty of choices! And recipes! But talking about all the great recipes you can tweak and foods available isn't where the book stops- we really get an education. We learn that there's a difference between gluten-free & wheat-free, and gluten can be found in haircare products and cosmetics! Elisabeth gives us everything we need to live gluten-free - even educating us on how to read product labels! If you don't suffer from celiac disease, there are other benefits one may gain from a gluten free diet - energy, weight loss and just a "healthier lifestyle". She's living it and loving it!
I found the book very interesting and an enjoyable read. Elisabeth writes well and keeps our interest even though we aren't reading a "novel". I loved the highlighted blurbs spread thru-out the chapters, such as "If your Tummy cries treason, there has to be a reason" that allow you to find a subject easily when you want to refer back to something. And aside from learning about celiac disease we learn a lot about the food that we put in our mouths!
A special thanks to Anna Balasi of Hachette Book Group for sharing this book with me! I thoroughly enjoyed it!