By Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Publisher: Center Street (2009)
Reviewed by Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, MHS, RD, LD
"Included are tips for creating a G-free kitchen, entertaining/eating out with great food while avoiding gluten and living with someone who is G-free...provides research and a road map for a renewed, healthy, energized life."
Synopsis of the Diet Plan
According to the author, "a G-free diet does not mean you're an outcast at social gatherings or hard to live with. It is a "guidebook" for everyday living with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. This is not a diet book for weight loss or weight management, although there is a chapter that says people can lose weight due to increased awareness of what you are eating. There are sample daily menus designed by registered dietitian Ashley Koff which indicate foods that children on a gluten-free diet can eat. Personal family recipes from Hasselbeck's recipe collection have been re-structured to be gluten-free. There are many helpful websites, book recommendations and everyday lifestyle suggestions to help those who need to avoid gluten. These include foods and food label breakdowns, medications, soaps, lotions and shampoos. Koff also provides a long list of healthy and gluten-free grain options to utilize in your diet.
Nutritional Pros and Cons
The pros outweigh the cons. Throughout the book, when nutrition information is being discussed, Hasselbeck defers to Koff. She also has sought information from medical doctors who treat celiac patients and those with gluten intolerance.
Also useful is day-to-day information like types of lotions, makeup and soaps to use and tips like keeping kitchen utensils for gluten-free cooking separate from non-gluten free kitchen utensils.
The book encourages eating a variety of foods to get the recommended nutrients and is consistent in conveying nutrition information through segments written by Koff.
This book reads a lot like a biography. But the day-to-day social issues and food selection, cooking and preparation as well as eating-out tips are discussed in a straightforward "been there, done that, here are some suggestions" mindset. It is a pep talk for those who need to follow a gluten-free diet, showing them it is not the end of the world to follow this lifestyle.
Because the author has worked with a registered dietitian when it comes to nutrition content and recommends several valid websites, cookbooks and reference books, I would recommend it to patients needing a pep talk and insight on day-to-day application of a gluten-free diet.