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Against the Grain: The Slightly Eccentric Guide to Living Well Without Gluten or Wheat Paperback – June 15, 1996
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Top customer reviews
I highly recommend it as a good place to begin when becoming gluten free.
Being 17 years old, it may perhaps seem a bit dated, but is clearly written and worked very well for me.
First of all, it's really important to know that a lot of the information about what you can and can't eat is just plain wrong. Some of that is because these things become outdated quickly, but some is less understandable than that. For instance, she says that while cream soups are likely to have gluten in them, broths won't. That's totally untrue -- most of the common brands of broth do have gluten in them. And it's a particularly odd mistake to be making given that on other things, she advocates being far more careful than the standard resources do. Like she says don't use distilled vinegar because it MIGHT be distilled from wheat, but again, everything else I've read on this subject says that 1) it's probably not distilled from wheat but more importantly 2) the distillation process removes gluten.
So if you're going to get this book, get it for the personal part, about how she dealt with her diagnosis. It's pretty entertaining and there's some value to being reminded that you're not the only one. That said, while I think it's valuable to have something to read in that area, I'd say she's more than just slightly eccentric. A lot of her stories about how her friends reacted to her diagnosis seem like extreme worst-case scenarios -- suffice it to say that I was diagnosed long before I was as sick as she describes herself as having been, yet my friends were a lot more sympathetic than she says hers were.
Finally, with regard to her strategies for living. Another review here mentions that they're sort of for the caviar set, and I have to agree. These are instructions for someone who not only has a LOT of money to spend on special-ordered foods, but who feels comfortable asking restaurant staffs to go way out of their way to accommodate her.
On the whole, I'd say there are better resources than this book. Some of them are online, others are informational books like Shelley Case's "Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide." But if you want to read everything you can on celiac disease and living gluten-free, this is at least entertaining.