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on December 11, 2008
I am privileged to know Jules Shepard and I have witnessed, first hand, her excellent knowledge of this life-changing disease and her passion for educating & supporting those who live with Celiac Disease/Gluten-Intolerance.
This book will be the `First Line of Defense' for anyone who has first gotten that diagnoses and are told to maintain a strict Gluten-Free Diet. Having gone down that road myself, I know what an awesome task this is. If you want to understand Celiac Disease better, this is the book for you! If you want to learn more about living with Celiac Disease/Gluten-Intolerance, this is the book for you! I highly recommend this author and this book for all! Check out her cookbook, "Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten Free Eating"!

Pat Minnigh
[...]
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on December 22, 2008
This is an excellent book for newly diagnosed Celiacs. Although written in a time frame for the first year, I read it in the first two weeks and now in my third week as a celiac, I carry it with me for review. Highly recommended.
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on May 3, 2009
This book is well written by Jules, a Celiac herself. Who better to learn this new path from someone who lives it each and every day. I highly recommend the book. It was fast reading and yet I refer to it time and time again.

When I was newly diagnosed I left the doctors office thrilled that after 2 1/2 years of very bizarre and uncomfortable symptoms following a bad virus and being told I suffered only from IBS for 16 years before that, I now had the answer. What the doctor didn't share with me was...."What now, how to precede?" I about cried the first time walking into a grocery store and realized this was going to be no easy task to learn on my own.

I was forced to learn a lot of what I know before her book came out but was thrilled once coming across it because of her intimate knowledge of what it is like to go through this new transition. After reading it, I knew I was on the right track. The author has inspired me to return to my love of baking as she shares some recipes in the book as well. I'm was so excited to see that gluten free recipes can taste the same if not better than their gluten filled counterparts. She also shares a great chapter on how to deal with eating out safely, another on travel and one of my favorites, how to handle social events confidently when food will be served and many more situations broken down into different chapters so that it is easy to refer back.

Purchase the book you won't be disappointed. And on another note....I was thrilled she also made her book available to those of us that read on a Kindle.
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on March 26, 2009
This book should be required reading for anyone starting a gluten free lifestyle and it is well worth reading even if you are a gluten free pro. It takes you, step by step, through the first year. Some of the many subjects covered are eating out, college, shopping, holidays, children's birthdays and traveling. This is an upbeat book and the author points out the many positive aspects of the gluten free life. Yes, there are some recipes too. I wish this book had been available 5 years ago when I went gluten free. It would have made the transition easier.
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on May 8, 2009
As the parent of a child with celiac disease, I found this book to be an easy read, a valuable resource, and a source of inspiration. It's well-written, well-researched, and includes a variety of special topics. The author, who has celiac disease, has emerged as a true authority on the disease. It's refreshing to read a book written by not just an expert, but an expert who has the disease!

There are certain sections that are most relevant to us right now - and, there are others that will become more relevant as my son gets older. I anticipate this book remaining a timeless resource for our family.

BTW: We use Jules' Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (the author's signature GF flour)- it's a staple in our house! I'd highly recommend it. It truly is a 1-to-1 substitute for wheat flour.
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on May 10, 2009
The First Year Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free, is an invaluable resource on how to learn to live with Celiac. The personal stories made me feel that we were not alone with this disease. Jules gives you hope that you CAN live a normal life on a gluten- free diet. She explains how to alter "every day" recipes to make them gluten-free.

Jules' first hand experiences and knowledge of Celiac disease helped us accept and deal with some of the new challenges that we will face. It is extremely helpful and comforting to read this book whether you are living with Celiac yourself or if a loved one or a friend has been diagnosed. Thanks, Jules!
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on May 4, 2009
I was sick of searching online for tons of different information I wasn't sure I could trust. This has it all in one place answering ALL the questions I had.
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on October 25, 2011
Newly diagnosed Celiac patients know that there is a lot of information to learn when starting out. I am still learning months later and this book was helpful to me in the "you are not alone" and "you will survive" aspects of coping. There is a lot of misinformation out there and for the most part this book is solid. If you have Celiac Disease or someone you know does, I would recommend this book, but not only this book. It is a great book for some things, but not for others. Explore the different books, blogs, and websites out there. It is a lot of material to wade through, but in the end it is worth it.

Also, just because this book tells you something is gluten-free doesn't mean that it actually is or still is! Please check and double check ingredients and contact manufacturers before you consume or you might get glutened.
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on April 22, 2012
Recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I knew I had a very steep learning curve. And, though I knew Celiac Disease was not the end of the world, I still had a lot of grief about all the changes it was bringing to my lifestyle. This book taught me my important first lessons and provided me with additional resources for helping me cope with Celiac in a wheat-filled world. While the author acknowledges the challenges and the social issues, she also provides practical approaches in an orderly and accessible manner. She answered questions my doctor brushed past by handing me a poor copy of good and bad food lists.
Not every chapter was relevant to my needs (e.g. pediatric Celiac, dealing with fertility and pregnancy), but I am glad they are there for folks who need them.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who needs a crash course in understanding what Celiac Sprue does and how to live gluten-free.
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on June 5, 2012
I found this book almost ten months after starting my gluten-free journey. I wish I'd found it sooner. This is written very much in plain language -- highly structured, well organized, easy to understand. It embroiders the core concepts with relevant personal stories, and when possible stories that illustrate opposing views about that particular concept. It includes SIMPLE recipes, strategies for eating out safely both in restaurants and in other people's homes. The focus is not on being comprehensive but on building a core set of skills to empower you to preserve your pre-diagnosis lifestyle as much as possible. As I've been stumbling through the process on my own, trial and error has EVENTUALLY taught me many of the lessons in this book. Oh, I really really wish I'd found it sooner!

The strengths of the book are also its weaknesses. In choosing to make the book accessible, some aspects of gluten-free life may be over-simplified. For example, at one point in the book, she recommends exploring the less expensive flours at ethnic food stores which are not labelled gluten free but are made from grains which are supposed to be gluten free. More recent research suggests that contamination is a significant issue with those, so that recommendation cost me a few months more of troubleshooting, trying to figure out where the gluten was hiding in my diet. Likewise, as this is an overview book, it simply can't go into depth about many of the specific issues included in the book. The book is a bit dated now, and I am hoping there will be a second edition before much longer.

The basic take-home message? This won't be the only book you should read about going gluten-free, but you should definitely read this one, and as soon as possible.
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