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Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back...And How You Can Too

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Shauna James Ahern

Blogger Ahern's story sheds light on celiac disease, a little-known and difficult-to-diagnose autoimmune condition. Those afflicted cannot digest gluten, a protein in wheat, barley, rye, and related grains. Ahern explains how she learned of her malady … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Shauna James Ahern
Genre: Health, Mind & Body, Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher: Wiley
1 review about Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That...

Excellent Book on Healthy Eating Even for Those Who Do Eat Gluten

  • Jan 26, 2009
This book is, first and foremost, a memoir by blogger Shauna James Ahern of the Gluten-Free Girl. It does contain recipes, but is not billed as a cookbook or a nutrition guide, therefore shouldn't be judged as one. I have several family members and friends with celiac disease and while I knew a tiny bit about what they have to deal with, I wanted to learn more. What I didn't necessarily expect, as someone who can eat gluten, is to find myself identifying with Ahern's ideas on mass produced food and the need to eat in a healthier way.

At times, she does wax a little too rhapsodic for my taste about tasting nature in her meals, but I can let that slide because she certainly opened my eyes to new grains like teff and amaranth and has made me more conscious that I could stand to do a little more home cooking and a lot more experimental eating.

It's sad that it took such a long time for Ahern's celiac diagnosis to be made, but what I took away from this book and admire greatly is that she doesn't mope or wallow, ever. She doesn't even simply accept her diagnosis, but uses it as a catalyst for change and insight into herself and the world around her, and as a chance to connect with others over food. She is clearly a food lover and her passion for cooking, using local ingredients and awakening her senses comes through quite clearly. I like that her recipes are not extremely complicated, because I am a beginner in the kitchen.

There are times when she makes pronouncements, such as that cooking shouldn't be done alone, that are a bit too broad to ring true; I certainly don't want someone in the kitchen seeing me mess up. But again, I took that as her opinion, which I am free to disagree with. The sweetness and serendipity of the love story at the end comes as an unexpected bonus, one I was thrilled to read.

This is a foodie memoir for anyone who grew up eating only brand names and processed food (even for those of us who still do, and love them) and wants to learn about healthier eating, as well as those who can't eat gluten, and those who love them. I look forward to following Ahern's writing on her blog and hopefully trying my hand at some of her recipes, but even if I don't, I still learned a lot from Gluten-Free Girl.

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