OK In Health - Gluten Free Goodness

A Little Summer Reading - May 2021

Recommended reading for the newly diagnosed

By Cathy Lauer

Cathy's creations cook books

While most people choose a trashy or best selling novel to read at the beach or on vacation here are some alternative books that might give you a little insight into the world of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. What better time to find out as much information as you can about the condition you have just been diagnosed with or refresh your memory about some books you may want to suggest to someone you know. Summer is a great time to find out as much information as you can so when September hits and you are faced with rushed days and busy afterschool activities you are well prepared to calmly face meal and snack challenges to keep yourself and your family healthy.

Knowing what you can and cannot eat is a big first step in successfully managing a gluten free diet. Once you are off wheat/gluten you won’t believe how much better you feel and it will only take a couple of cheats to remind you how horrible you feel inside and out. It’s just not worth it.

I have my favourite book but I also asked my trusted friend, and founder of The Celiac Scene, Ellen Bayens for her recommendation. She immediately and emphatically recommended Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic by Peter Green MD, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. Be sure to pick up the revised edition so you have the most up to date information. If you prefer not to purchase another book check out your local library, that’s where I found it. www.theceliacscene.com

Ellen had this to say about her book choice. “Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic is a powerfully informative resource that offers true compassion for those who have struggled with the disease and champions their right to a complete diagnosis. I recommend this book to all those who find themselves on this medical odyssey; to the newly diagnosed and their physicians as an all inclusive reference; and to those who live with the disease and continue to advocate for their health.”


When you open the book the first thing you will find is a Health Questionnaire. This questionnaire steps through three categories; symptoms, diagnoses and associated illnesses. This will help you to understand that there is more to having undiagnosed celiac disease than just a daily stomach ache. The book is broken into 5 parts each one dealing with a different aspect of Celiac Disease. The book does not read like a medical textbook so it is informative without being bogged down by terminology that would require a medical dictionary. I liked that the author talks about those with classic as well as non-classic symptoms. Personal anecdotes from patients interspersed throughout each section help to clarify the topics with real life examples. I actually caught myself skipping through the book reading the anecdotes. It is so amazing to read what others have been through. Like Ellen I would highly recommend this book to anyone wondering if they might have celiac disease or if you are plagued by numerous vague medical issues that the doctor just can’t seem to pin down to any particular disease. If there are others in your family with celiac disease you might also want to get yourself tested.

For a more humorous and quick, yet highly informative read, I would recommend Living Gluten Free for Dummies from the immensely popular “For Dummies” series. Author Danna Korn’s writing style made the book an easy, light hearted read yet provided her personal struggle with her son’s diagnosis and diet in an easily relatable way. The book’s easy to read layout makes it a good choice for people who only have a few minutes here and there to read. You can also pick and choose what sections of the book to read in whatever order suits you best. It’s hard to pick a favourite part of this book as it is overall such a good resource. I do however like the 5th Wave cartoons at the beginning of each of the five parts that the book is broken into as well as the new words that Korn creates and uses to fortify her point. The book is not expensive and can often be purchased on sale. This is a must have for your resource library and a good first book for the newly diagnosed.

When it comes to gluten free cookbooks there are lots out there to choose from. You will find everything from meals to baking, super healthy to basic white rice and starchy flour. My best recommendation for these types of books is to talk to other celiacs to find out what they use and why. My own all baking cookbooks are very popular and reasonably price and the feedback from users has been very positive.

The one cookbook I will recommend is A Celiac is Coming to Dinner written by Leslie Orser. I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie at The Gluten Intolerance Festival in Victoria in 2008. Her book is designed for those who want to prepare a gluten free meal for family or friends but don’t know where to begin. Her recipes use easy to find ingredients and don’t require you to buy a lot of ingredients you may never use again. There is a photo for every recipe and all the photos were taken by Leslie so you know exactly what the product should look like. No airbrushed food here. I would also recommend this book for the newly diagnosed as it will show you just how easy it is to make the switch to making gluten free meals. To check out Leslie’s book go to her website www.aceliaciscoming.com

With celiac disease becoming a mainstream medical condition instead of a rare disease there are more resource books being written all the time. You can also check your local library for books as well as your local chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association for information and recommendations. Your local chapter executive is usually very well informed and can help you with local resources and support group meetings. So this summer do yourself a favour. Pick up a book on celiac disease and find out how much better you could feel and how much healthier you will be on a gluten free diet.



Cathy LauerCathy's Bio: Cathy Lauer has been cooking/baking gluten/dairy free for 17 years. She has written 3 all baking cookbooks and has a gluten free baking blog/store. In her spare time she loves to garden in a big way with fruit, vegetable and flower gardens. She is a classically trained singer and loves to read and collect recipe books. She homeschools her youngest son (11) and has 3 grown children and is grandmother of 2. Cathy's Gluten Free Creations Ltd. Gourmet Gluten Free Baking. Cookbooks and Baking Mixes. 250-758-5232 - Cathy Lauer Website - Email

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