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Living Gluten Free for Dummies

Review by Tiffany Jane on CeliacDisease.com

It’s hard to believe that the 2nd edition of the book could actually be better than the first, but it actually is indeed! For those who are not familiar with Danna’s work, she has written several books about living gluten-free and founded R.O.C.K. (Raising our Gluten-Free Kids) - a national support group. Almost twenty years ago when Danna’s toddler was diagnosed with celiac, she went to the grocery store to find gluten-free foods. After reading tons of product labels – none labeled gluten-free at the time, she left the store with a cart full of Fritos brand corn chips.

In all of Danna’s books, she instantly connects with her readers and makes them understand that the gluten-free lifestyle can be both fun and delicious. Her excitement about gluten-free living can be quite inspirational – even to the most jaded gluten-free consumer. It’s simply hard not to see things from a more positive perspective once you read any of Danna’s great books about living a very full life without gluten. As hard as it is to believe, the second edition of Living Gluten-Free for Dummies might be the most inspirational book she’s written yet!

The renowned celiac expert Allesio Fasano, MD, who heads up the Celiac Center at the University of Maryland, wrote the forward to Danna’s book. The most interesting part of the forward to me was the statement “for every celiac patient, five to seven patients are affected by gluten sensitivity” . It’s estimated that 3 million people in the U.S. have celiac (and less than 90% of people with it know they have it) so that means if there are only 5 people for every person with celiac, that’s an additional 15 million people with gluten intolerance. Add that to the 3 million with celiac and you have 18 million people in the U.S. who can’t tolerate gluten well. On the high end of the estimate – 7 for every 1 – and you have 24 million people affected. Any way you slice it, many more people are following the gluten-free diet without a celiac diagnosis than those with one. The fact that we’re tripping left and right over new gluten-free products flooding the market makes more sense every day.

Danna Korn and I actually have something in common besides the fact that we both genuinely enjoy the gluten-free lifestyle. We both like making up words, though she’s more creative at it than I am. She also isn’t crazy about following recipes to a ‘t’ and I can relate to that as well. Don’t worry, she does give specifics in the recipes in her books, but that’s just because her publisher requires her to. Danna likes to be creative when she’s making gluten-free meals and loves using ingredients she has hand to put together delicious dishes without doing a ton of work in the kitchen. That is my kind of cooking – no doubt. Her latest book covers everything from gluten-free snacks to breakfasts to dinners to desserts – and much, much more!

Like she does in the first edition of Living Gluten-Free For Dummies, Danna explains the basics of the gluten-free diet. Safe grains are covered and so are some gluten-free myths. One of the most helpful and relatable sections in the book is Part IV: Living – and Loving – the Gluten-Free Lifestyle 24/7. There you’ll find chapters about traveling, dining out and managing your social life while avoiding gluten. If you’re raising gluten-free kids, Danna’s chapter called “Raising Happy, Healthy, Gluten-Free Kids” will leave you feeling that you’re not only going to survive, but thrive while doing just that. Additionally, Danna speaks to the emotional aspects of having celiac or gluten intolerance. Living Gluten-Free For Dummies is a book I highly recommend to those that are just beginning their gluten-free journey or anyone who is struggling with the gluten-free lifestyle. It’s also great for anyone who enjoys an informative, yet fun read about living the gluten-free lifestyle to the fullest.