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The Gluten-Free Bible: The Thoroughly Indispensable Guide to Negotiating Life without Wheat Paperback – March 10, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The definitive guide to coping with wheat allergy and celiac disease....the author has left no resource untapped.” ―Science News

“Lowell covers every aspect of living wheat and gluten free.” ―The New York Times

“Be forewarned: This book is addictive. Jax inspires, educates, entertains. You'll laugh, you'll learn, you'll discover the abundant life that can be yours -- gluten-free.” ―Peggy Wagener, Publisher, Living Without magazine

“[This book] will bring tears of joy... It is a treasure and a must for every celiac's library.” ―Elaine Monarch, Executive Director of the Celiac Disease Foundation

“With her trademark cheekiness and deep-hearted wisdom, Jax Lowell serves up another celiac classic.” ―Diane Eve Paley, President, Celiac Society of America

“I have never read an allergy book that I could say had a heart, but this one does.” ―Jim Burns, Food Editor, Los Angeles Times syndicate

“Aren't we lucky this talented writer is one of us!” ―Alice Bast, Executive Director, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

“Jax Lowell proves it's possible to live and eat happily ever after.” ―Connie Sarros, The Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbooks

“Lowell has succeeded in creating a work that will inspire the patient, dietician, and doctor--RUN, don't walk, to pick up your copy!” ―A. Myron Falchuk, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

“...Just what the doctor ordered.” ―Alessio Fasano, M.D., Center for Celiac Research

“A lot of attitude and a terrific sense of humor.” ―New York Daily News

“A book that nurtures as it advises.” ―Better Homes & Gardens, Cooks' Catalog

About the Author

Jax Peters Lowell has been a diagnosed celiac-and gluten- free-since 1981. A lifestyle expert, advocate, and contributing editor to Living Without magazine, Lowell lives in Philadelphia with her husband and bread machine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st Edition (later printing) edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805077464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805077469
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I don't know if the years that have gone by and the experiences I have had with dealing with other celiacs and the gluten free diet have changed my perspective, but I am underwhelmed with Jax Peters Lowell's new "Gluten Free Bible", which is a new revision of "Against the Grain".

When my family of four celiacs was first diagnosed, her book "Against the Grain" offered me a refreshing perspective on how to deal with this condition. At that time I thought that if I could raise my celiac children with her perspective, they would be fine. I thought that her determination and zeal in pursuing special treatment because she wasn't "ordinary" was admirable.

In the "Gluten Free Bible", Jax falls flat. She sounds too preachy, too whiny, and she deals with some things too superficially to make this book a worthwhile addition to a celiac's library. She goes beyond addressing gluten-free issues to address her concerns with the fat and sugar content of the average American diet, her concerns with pesticides and chemicals, and her preoccupation with the macrobiotic food fad. This ends up leaving the original portions of "Against the Grain" with less sparkle, panache, and flair.

In my opinion, eating the toppings off of canapes and the innards from sandwiches and trying to avoid eating the cheesecake crust are just not reasonable activities that even a starving celiac should be engaging in. A much better strategy for a celiac to use when out on the town is the boy scout mantra of "be prepared". I encountered many factual inaccuracies in the Gluten Free Bible that may be of great concern to celiacs.
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Format: Paperback
There are serious inaccuracies in this book that can cause a great deal of stress for a celiac. The section on medications with gluten is especially troubling as it causes someone who thought they were safe to worry for no reason. Most troubling is her treatment of the risks of cancer. Her treatment is both superficial, incaccurate and unrealistic. First she says that the risk is the same whether you maintain a gluten free diet or not. Then she says that the only thing you can do about it is to not worry about it. Her discussion of picking food out of a sandwiches is poor advice. In one section she understands the problems of cross contamination, yet doesn't seem to understand that picking apart food is more of a risk than using a toaster. Finally, her flip advice about how to avoid answering questions is ridiculous. Why not be honest instead of avoiding the questions. It's up to the person as to how many details they want to give. But avoiding the issue is not the answer.
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Although Jax presents the gluten free lifestyle with a great attitude, anyone serious about the diet knows that it isn't this easy. The hard info that Jax gives in this book is outright wrong and could be very dangerous to some one new to the diet. She needs to loose the casual approach and get real about being truly gluten free.
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Whether this book is worth reading depends on what you are looking for.

Jax Lowell is clearly a talented and enthusiastic writer who can make you feel upbeat about a gluten-free diet. If you want a "feel-good" experience or a mood-booster, this book could be the one.

This update of her earlier book, however, still recommends practices that are dangerous for celiacs, such as removing sandwich fillings from between gluten bread and putting it between your own gluten-free bread. To the general public, this may sound a reasonable survival strategy, but research studies are consistently showing that even minute amounts of cross-contamination can keep the autoimmune response of celiac active and damaging the intestines. Even an amount of gluten so small as 1mg/day has caused continuing damage, according to one study.

Instead of purchasing the "Gluten Free Bible", money would be better spent on: Danna Korn's "Wheat-Free, Worry-Free: The Art of Happy, Healthy Gluten-Free Living" or Shelly Case's "Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide". If you are looking for gluten-free recipes, check out any of Bette Hagman's cookbooks or Roben Ryberg's "The Gluten-Free Kitchen".
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Format: Paperback
If you have a mild to moderate gluten intolerance, you can MAYBE follow this book's advice and be safe. If you have full on Celiac Disease, you will find yourself sick in a single digestive cycle!

Jax's information is lacking, out of date, and incorrect. I obsessively research foods, medicines, ingredients, and restraunts so as to be able to join my friends and family in their dinners, and my research shows Jax to be woefully incorrect. I'm encouraging my local booksellers to not carry this any more, and I encourage the discerning readers amoung you to take great care. If you want the feel good stories, read the feel good stores. Don't take the feel bad advice.
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What in the world was Jax Peters Lowell thinking when she wrote Chapter 17, "Rx for Health"? I cannot begin to express the fear and anxiety I felt when I saw Celebrex named as a drug that contains gluten. I stopped taking it immediately and began searching for a gluten-free alternative. I was so upset that all of my efforts as a celiac to live gluten-free were being undermined by my Celebrex. I had thought it was gluten-free! I found the website that Lowell mentions on page 394, Glutenfree Drugs.com, hoping to find a gluten-free alternative pain medication. Imagine my relief at seeing Celebrex on the list. I contacted Pfizer....no gluten! I Googled gluten and Celebrex.....NO Gluten! There are many responsible guides for celiacs. Lowell's book is certainly not one of them!
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