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Food Allergy Survival Guide: Surviving and Thriving with Food Allergies and Sensitivities Paperback – August 10, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vesanto Melina is a registered dietitian and co-author of The Food Allergy Survival Guide, Becoming Vegetarian, Becoming Vegan, Raising Vegetarian Children. She is co-author of the most recent Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets ( ) and coordinated the vegetarian section of the Manual of Clinical Dietetics, 6th Edition, both joint projects of the American Dietetic Association and dietitians of Canada. Dina Aronson is a registered dietitian and nationally recognized writer and speaker. Jo Stepaniak is the author of over a dozen books and hundreds of articles on vegetarian cuisine and compassionate living.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Healthy Living Publications (August 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157067163X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570671630
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D., was trained at the University of Toronto and the University of London, England, and taught nutrition at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and Seattle's Bastyr University. She is co-author of award winning "Becoming Vegan: Express Edition" and the more extensive "Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition" (for Dietitians, MDs, and health professionals). She also co-authored the nutrition classics "Becoming Vegetarian", "Becoming Raw", and "Becoming Vegan" (all with Brenda Davis) as well as "Cooking Vegan" and "Cooking Vegetarian" (both with Joseph Forest), and "The Food Allergy Survival Guide" and "Raising Vegetarian Children".

She was an author of the joint position paper on vegetarian diets for Dietitians of Canada and the American Dietetics Association (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) and coordinated the vegetarian section of their Manual of Clinical Dietetics. Vesanto is widely known in the media. She is an internationally known speaker and has presented workshops on the topic of vegetarian nutrition to thousands of dietitians across North America. Vesanto received the prestigious Clintec award for leadership in dietetics. She regularly consults for government and industry and for individual clients.

To complement her scientific expertise is Vesanto's joy in creating food that is healthy, delicious and simple to prepare. She became vegetarian in 1978 and vegan in 1993 as she gradually explored the consequences of food choices on health, animal welfare, and environmental issues. Her websites are www.becomingvegan.ca and www.nutrispeak.com

Her co-author Brenda Davis completed an honors degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph, followed by an internship in Ottawa Ontario. She has worked as a public health nutritionist, clinical nutrition specialist, nutrition consultant, academic nutrition instructor, and is Past-Chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. She is an outstanding and inspiring speaker. Her website is http://brendadavisrd.com/

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For those with food allergies, maintaining a vegan diet can be challenging. Soy, nuts, corn, and glutinous grains are in so many foods that it is difficult to avoid them. Food Allergy Survival Guide will help you to figure out what foods you are sensitive to and how to replace them with healthful, plant-based ingredients.

The book starts with an explanation of what food allergies and intolerances are and what they are caused by. If you ever wanted to know in detail how your digestive system works, you will get a full description in this book. Food Allergy Survival Guide also provides information about many medical conditions like arthritis, asthma, ADHD, candida, celiac disease, depression, dermatitis, fatigue, and migraines that can be caused by or worsened by certain foods. For each condition, there are suggestions of possible food culprits and suggestions to manage the condition.

If you are not sure if you have food allergies or what foods you are allergic to, you can find out what tests can be used to find out. The pros and cons of medical invasive and non-invasive tests are discussed as well as some do-it-yourself methods.

Once you know what foods have an adverse affect on your well-being, the trick is avoiding them. As the authors point out, foods like dairy, soy, corn, egg, and wheat are hidden in labels under all kinds of different names. For example, egg may be listed as binder, emulsifier, or coagulant. Corn can be listed as caramel coloring or dextrose. Food Allergy Survival Guide tells you what foods most often include common allergens and provide detailed lists of labeling terms that may be allergenic foods.

The best method of dealing with multiple food allergies is to cook most of your own meals.
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Format: Paperback
Food Allergy Survival Guide: Living Well Without Dairy, Eggs, Fish, Gluten, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts, Wheat, Yeast and more

Vesanta Melina, Jo Stepaniak, and Dina Aronson

With a title like this, are we to believe that there are any foods left to eat for those of us with food sensitivities? The answer: a resounding YES. Why? Because Melina, Stepaniak, and Aronson have done their homework. Because similar to their other collaborative efforts, they deliver a comprehensive survival guide based on scientific research and culinary magic. After in-depth explanation of food allergy, food intolerance, and food sensitivity, the authors discuss the relationship of food to conditions such as arthritis, asthma, ADHD, candida, eczema, psoriasis, depression, digestive disorders, fatigue, and headaches. They teach us how to be our own food-trigger detective with blood tests, skin tests, and the oral food challenge which, according to the authors, is the most reliable test known for food allergies. Identification of the food culprit(s), however, is only the first step. The authors discuss cross-contamination and ways to track hidden substances in products. Whether the food culprit is dairy products, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, Macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, etc.), wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, fruit, sulfites, citrus, nightshades, or fish, this book provides the reader with explanations, charts, and tips to help us in our sleuthing. Coping with food sensitivities is examined, and a list of support groups and online information is provided. Incorporating maximum nutrition into meal planning is carefully delineated with sample menus and restaurant tips. The last 183 pages are devoted to Jo's culprit-free recipes, complete with a detailed nutritional analysis.
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Format: Paperback
This book is very helpful, especially if you are newly diagnosed with food allergies. Or, if you want to dive into the depths of analysis of food allergies and many related issues (ie Asthma). It covers all the A-Z's, including label-reading and hidden allergies, along with cross-contamination risks. A good starter "guide."

However, if you are looking for a cookbook, unless you are a Vegan, you probably want to seek an alternative, as 100% of the 100 recipes are Vegan.
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Format: Paperback
The layout and title of this book gives the strong impression of a guidebook, yet quite a cast of recipes lies within. In fact, the latter half of the book is all cookbook, with over 100 recipes. I was elated to find that each recipe was free of dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, wheat, and yeast. How refreshing to find a book that actually lives up to its title / subtitle. It was so nice to not have to sort through which recipes were "safe" and which weren't, the whole book was a go!

As for the first half of the cookbook, it seems to be a culmination of food allergy knowledge from among the three well known authors, Vesanto Melina (MS, RD), Dina Aronson (MS, RD), and Jo Stepaniak (MSEd). I have read and perused more than a few food allergy books, and this is certainly one of the best. The authors touch on the required material, such as explaining food allergies / sensitivities and food allergy testing, but they then move on to cover new ground that is seldom discussed in the surface world of food allergies.

Though the book reads fairly well, some sections do get bogged down in biology and other details. Some sub-chapter listings would be helpful to make this a true reference book. Each chapter is truly dense with information, and per standard, the index is a bit too muddled with keywords to serve as a quick and easy guide.

I have already trialed several of the recipes, including the Chickpea Pizza, a Mediterranean style flat bread, the Beannaise, a soy-free, dairy-free mayonnaise alternative, and the Hot Fudge Sauce (pretty self explanatory). All worked out but the sauce, which I will retry. I have been very pleased with the ease of the recipes, spending less than 30 minutes on each, even when preparing them for the first time!
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