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Summary

Summary


An expanded, revised, and exhaustively updated 20th anniversary edition of the book that fired the first shot--a comprehensive and entertaining guide to living gluten-free

Way ahead of its time, the original edition of this book, Against the Grain, was the first book of its kind: a funny, supportive, and absolutely essential handbook for gluten-free living. With two successful editions and countless devoted fans, this book has helped thousands of gluten-free readers follow their diets with creativity, resourcefulness, and, always, good humor. The Gluten-Free Revolution is fully revised and updated with the newest resources and information, and is packed with authoritative, practical advice for every aspect of living without gluten. With her signature wit and style, Lowell guides readers through the intricacies of shopping; understanding labels, from cosmetics to prescription drugs; strategies for eating out happily and preparing food safely at home; advice about combining gluten-free eating with any other diet, like gluten-free-paleo and gluten-free-dairy-free; negotiating complicated emotional and interpersonal reactions to your new diet; and includes fabulous gluten-free recipes from the best chefs in the world, including Thomas Keller, Rick Bayless, Alice Waters, Bobby Flay, and Nigella Lawson, among many others. The Gluten-Free Revolution remains the ultimate and indispensable resource for navigating your gluten-free life.


Author Notes


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.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In this chatty, funny, and practical guide for the growing legion of gluten-free eaters, the popular author of The Gluten-Free Bible (2005) returns with more advice on how to live without wheat. Her positive message: it is not so tricky or draconian. After all, today 15 million Americans follow a gluten-free diet. Three million of them, including Lowell, are gluten-intolerant, with documented celiac disease an immune response to the proteins in wheat, barley, and rye. No accurate test exists for non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but Lowell says more than 20 percent of the population suffers from it. Interestingly, wine and distilled alcoholic beverages (but not beer, which contains malt) are safe to consume on a gluten-free diet. Practical tips cover recipe books and food brands that are gluten-free, where to find celiac disease community groups, which international foods are safe, including Russian borscht and Japanese uni or sea urchin, and how to be a good gluten-free guest (Always let your host know about your diet ahead of time). A tasty bonus: recipes provided by such big-name chefs as Alice Waters make this an information-packed winner.--Springen, Karen Copyright 2014 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Only 20 years ago, "gluten-free" was a relatively unknown dietary restriction. Now, readers may have several friends, family members, and coworkers identifying this way, and may wonder if they should follow suit. Lowell (The Gluten-Free Bible) reprises her role as gluten-free educator for the general public in this work. She explains what gluten-free means, offering not just a definition, but a look at what it's like for a gluten-intolerant individual to have to think about every bite consumed and what it means for loved ones who are cooking for those affected. Lowell is also a coach and cheerleader. With how-to advice on grocery shopping, ordering at restaurants, and having difficult conversations about why you're not eating lovingly crafted food, Lowell puts the gluten-intolerant individual in the driver's seat. The condition, when managed, is no reason to become a hermit. Of particular interest are the related recipes from top chefs, allowing readers to create their own meals to celebrate traditions-with the bonus of being able to demonstrate to others that gluten-free isn't intended to be taste-free. VERDICT Recommended as an introductory read for those interested in this dietary change; also for family and friends of gluten-intolerant individuals.-Rachel M. Minkin, Michigan State Univ. Libs., Lansing (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Introduction
The Gluten-Free Revolution Twenty years ago, Against the Grain: The Slightly Eccentric Guide to Living Well Without Wheat or Gluten , with its cheeky tone and iconic toaster cover, made its debut into an America still in the dark about the gluten-free diet. I could not have imagined then a world where millions would gladly embrace life without gluten; where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would dispense with grocery shopping Russian roulette and actually standardize labels on gluten-free products. I would have laughed if you'd told me a waiter would one day be informed enough to tell me that though the buckwheat polenta I was considering was gluten-free, the buckwheat itself was milled in a facility that also processed wheat. Or that beyond full-blown celiac disease, there would be many shades of gray on the spectrum of gluten sensitivity. It seems quaint now in the explosion of all things gluten-free that my first editor, the formidable Beth Crossman, taking a chance on a new author convinced celiac disease wasn't as rare as experts believed, felt most readers would not know what gluten is, much less why we shouldn't eat it, and hedged her bets with a subtitle that put the word wheat before gluten . Not in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned the reception that first book would receive. Long marginalized by this strange ailment, the gluten-free community responded with laughter and tears to my quirky way of managing what was then a daunting diet and felt a new assertiveness in negotiating not just a safe meal, but also a darn good one. To my everlasting surprise, this newcomer was quoted in Newsweek , reviewed in the New York Times , and invited to speak on what was then a little-known condition on National Public Radio and at support groups and conferences all over the country. I am grateful for the outpouring of friendship and gratitude from fans in every city and town in the United States and Canada who shared their amazing stories of courage and resourcefulness with me. In times of great personal challenge, I have been buoyed and blessed by the kindnesses of my extended gluten-free family. Job satisfaction doesn't get better than this. In the hungry years of blank stares from waiters and bread that tasted more like spackling compound than food, I had no idea Against the Grain and its second edition, The Gluten-Free Bible , would become bestsellers, or that I would play a part in inspiring a new generation of gluten-free Americans, as well as chefs and entrepreneurs who have swept us all from the culinary fringes to the beating heart of today's food culture, ushering in the gluten-free revolution. My mother taught me never to make reciprocation a term for giving. She always said, "A gift will come back to you on its own." My small contribution to the gluten-free community has come back to me a hundredfold and, with it, joy beyond measure. There has never been a better time to forgo gluten or a culture more conversant in what that means. From haute to down home cuisine, the best of the best are turning their attention to high-quality offerings that do not apologize for their lack of the offending grain. Quite the opposite. Thomas Keller, celebrated chef and owner of the legendary French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon, has set a new standard with his gluten-free flour blend, Cup4Cup, and his line of Ad Hoc Gluten-Free mixes. The Bouchon Bakery Gluten-Free Brioche Rolls he shares with us (page 163) are nothing short of spectacular. Nowadays, all it takes is a gentle request and many fine restaurants will begin the meal with a warm gluten-free dinner roll, Parmesan crisp, or other form of amuse-bouche. And this is occurring up and down the food chain. More and more fast-food and chain restaurants offer gluten-free options. In stores, refrigerated cases boast fresh pasta--spaghetti, linguine, lasagna noodles, and tagliatelle--that tastes like homemade and cooks up, light and airy, in minutes. Just the other day, I discovered fresh, gluten-free three-cheese ravioli in the supermarket, of all places. Dried pastas in infinite varieties are a far cry from their soggy forebears and are as good as, if not better than, those made with semolina. Healthier, too, with rice bran and whole grains like quinoa, millet, sorghum, and amaranth. English muffins, breads, bagels, brownies, crackers, cake mixes, and piecrusts, even panko bread crumbs abound. Is the whole world gluten-free? Some days, it seems that way. Tate's Bake Shop in Southampton, New York, once a place any sane gluten-free citizen would avoid, has made a gluten-free variation of its legendary chocolate chip cookie that melts on the tongue and flies off the shelf faster than the original. A Philadelphia baker takes on the classic French baguette with extraordinary results. Gone are frozen cardboard pizzas; we find real takeout, cheesy and sublime, popping up in cities all over the country, along with gluten-free cupcakes, biscotti, and cookies for whiling away an afternoon with a latte and laptop. Babycakes, a tiny bakery on New York's Lower East Side, has quickly become the epicenter of gluten-free vegan delights and home to a cookbook empire. Erin McKenna's Meyer Lemon and Bing Cherry Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (page 196) are a taste of how sinful healthy gluten-free can be. Some savvy businesses are making their goodies lactose-free, casein-free, and sugar-free as well, because today we know food sensitivities often come in multiples. To the French, pastry isn't just food, it's a form of worship. And yet, Helmut Newcake, the first gluten-free patisserie in Paris, bucks centuries of tradition with glorious versions of every classic. I am honored to say they have made their American debut on these pages with a sublime fondant for you to make at home. Waiters in four- and five-star restaurants no longer sniff at special requests; they offer customers gluten-free alternatives that not only live up to every star but inspire envy in other guests. Once upon a time, there was a kind of feeding frenzy around gluten-free treats. We ate more than we wanted or was good for us because a slice of peach pie or a fudge brownie was rare; better to eat it now than never see it again. I love the idea that in the abundance of today's gluten-free choices, there can be moderation. When I'm offered a slice of pizza, I can say, "No thanks, I'm on a diet," knowing there's more where that came from. This is no small thing. While there is only one gluten-free diet, one that needs to be followed scrupulously and for life, there are delicious variations on the path to healthy eating. With a little homework, and a solid grounding in the essentials, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, Mediterranean, lactose-free, casein-free and/or dairy-free, old-fashioned omnivore, and gluten-free all have a place at the table. In fact, a growing number of us are eating locally and going organic, passing up processed, GMO (genetically modified organism), and factory-farmed foods along with gluten. The gluten-free path is now synonymous with vibrant good health. Gwyneth Paltrow is a glowing example of this and proves it with her recipe for vegan Sweet Potato and Five-Spice Muffins (page 194); as does Jennifer Katzinger, founder of Flying Apron Bakery (Sweet Potato Rosemary Bread, page 156; Fresh Strawberry and Blueberry Fruit Tart, page 185; and Banana Split Cake, page 236), among others earning their places among the best of the best baking today. This kind of conscious eating is giving the processed, high-fructose-corn-syrup world of the supermarket a run for its money. We are learning one can eat sustainably and well and still be gluten-free. There are many reasons for choosing to give up meat or dairy; we no longer have to worry about how this will work with a gluten-free diet. We've got options galore. In Chapter 2, "The New Food Hyphenate," I've covered the basics and suggested some further reading material, so you can explore a way of eating that's right for you. 
Every day someone tells me they've sworn off gluten. "I feel less tired," declares a new mother of twins. "It helps my candida," says the punked-out drummer down the block. And there is the world-class tennis player who swore off gluten and rocked his game straight to Wimbledon. "Humans were not designed to digest gluten," the hostess of a dinner party tells me, showing off her fresh gluten-free ravioli con funghi as if I lived on the moon. Even the UPS guy gets in on the act. "That stuff'll kill you," he says. My own publisher is gluten-free. We are in good company. Fifteen million Americans follow a gluten-free diet, of which three million, myself included, are gluten-intolerant with documented celiac disease. And there is a broad spectrum of sensitivity. It is estimated that as many as 30 to 40 percent of the US population have non-celiac intolerance and sensitivity in the absence of this serious autoimmune condition, and up to 8 percent of American children under eighteen have food allergies. Even more amazing, over forty million of us buy gluten-free products, not only for ourselves but also for our friends and families, creating a $4.2 billion market, which is expected to swell to $6 billion by the year 2017. And that's a modest assessment. One market research firm says those numbers are even higher at $10.5 billion last year and $15 billion in sales of all things gluten-free predicted by 2016. Given the added cost of gluten-free products, we are generous, too. Thanks to a landmark study funded by the National Institutes of Health and spearheaded by the best minds in the international celiac research community, what many of us only knew in our gut has been confirmed. A staggering 1 in 133 otherwise healthy people have celiac disease, even more among those with affected first- and second-degree relatives. According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, these numbers are rising sharply, fourfold in the last fifty years. I wonder if this is not just because of greater awareness or better diagnoses but also due to the widespread theory that changes to the wheat crop, especially a new super-drought-resistant and bug-resistant, genetically engineered variety containing higher amounts of gluten, are wreaking havoc with human digestion. Even bees can't handle the stuff. A recent New York Times article on a new mystery malady killing bees points to pesticide-containing GMO crops (see Chapter 22, "Food Fights") as a possible cause for the worst thing to hit the apiary since colony collapse. Some say it's because food companies are adding vital wheat gluten to already glutinous grains. Others point to artificial yeast. Still more cite the dramatic increase in all food allergies and blame a food supply being systematically tainted by frankenfoods. Maybe, too, as boomers age, those who have eaten gluten safely all their lives may be losing their immunological tolerance for the stuff. What we do know is that we are eating wheat our grandparents wouldn't recognize. But whatever the reason, we know that gluten intolerance and its many variations are far more common than we ever thought. Who could have predicted a time when Lady Gaga would tweet that she'd gone gluten-free and expected to lose ten pounds by month's end? Or that Miley Cyrus would exhort us to lose the gluten and watch our skins glow. Most would agree that the gluten-free diet per se is not a great way to lose weight, unless you swear off all refined carbohydrates and eat only whole grains packed with nutrition. In fact, once we eliminate the absorption issues caused by gluten, we may even gain a pound or two as we relearn how much we can eat to maintain a healthy weight. But if certain pop stars consider carbohydrate-free a synonym for gluten-free, we want to gently set them straight and welcome them to the club. The more, the merrier, I say. *** The explosion in all things gluten-free irks some in the celiac community and may even strike fear into the hearts of those who have brought us to this tipping point, selfless souls who have worked long and unflaggingly for awareness of celiac disease as a bona fide disease. Many would dismiss the sudden popularity of the gluten-free diet as a fad and, admittedly, for some it certainly is. But that would underestimate the plain truth that every day more and more of us have good reasons to swear off gluten. Instead of looking for purity, we should be asking ourselves why so many feel better without wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives. Is celiac disease merely the tip of the gluten iceberg, as some in the scientific community say? Is the human immune system under assault? Is our food supply compromised? Is that compromise environmental or manufactured, as some suspect? Are we the canaries in the coal mine? Food for thought. The good news is that the gluten-free revolution is many millions strong and, as a massive consumer group, we are demanding new regulation and transparency about the safety of our food supply. We have insisted on a high and uniform standard for gluten-free labeling. It took nine years but, in the summer of 2013, we got a long-overdue final ruling from the FDA. Is the ruling perfect? No. Will we continue to press for mandatory labeling rather than the current voluntary rules? I hope so. Our voices rise again for full disclosure about GMOs and additives in the food we eat. Powerful, vocal, and growing in number, we are able to bring pressure to bear on the food industry and government agencies to disclose their practices and fund more research. At this writing, deadly trans fats, deemed unsafe for human consumption, may soon be a danger we no longer have to worry about, with the FDA moving toward significantly limiting, or more or less banning, their use in processed foods. As a group, we get things done. Personally, I'm thrilled to be part of such a large and diverse family. I'm not worried about overexposure or that those of us with celiac disease will suffer somehow. The more of us there are, the better we all eat. As consumers, we have given the gluten-free market critical mass and have encouraged entrepreneurs to abandon the tried and true and dedicate themselves to building new business models that embrace the fact that gluten-free is here to stay. But abundance also brings challenge. Not all of us have a zero-tolerance mind-set when it comes to gluten. Should we treat with suspicion the safety of food offered by those who may have a laissez-faire attitude about what constitutes a gluten-free meal, and especially those in a position to instruct our children? Absolutely. Do we have to double-check meals served by well-meaning but undereducated newcomers? We certainly do. Must we take with a grain of sea salt the health claims of this growing group? You betcha. Vetting becomes even more important in a world where not everyone is sensitive to the same degree and there is not as much at stake when mistakes are made. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Recently I walked into one of those big chain pasta restaurants to ask if there were any gluten-free options on the menu; I was hoping for pizza or ready-made ravioli close to home. The pretty blond greeter's smile was electric. "Oh, yes," she gushed. "We have quite a few gluten-free customers who LOVE the whole-wheat pasta." Seriously? Notoriety never comes without its challenges and foods, like health conditions, all have their moments--remember Swedish meatballs, chicken fricassee, fondue, the South Beach Diet, Atkins, the year everyone in America was in the Zone? Will the Rastafarian macrobiotic down the street fall off the gluten-free wagon and jump on some other food fad? It goes without saying. Will the frenzied writing of cookbooks, blogs, and building of gluten-free empires abate? Of course. But when the wave finally breaks, we will be left with a world that takes gluten-free in its stride, equal to low-fat and cholesterol-, salt-, and sugar-, preservative-, peanut-, pesticide-, GMO-, and lactose-free, as valid options for those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, food allergies, and other sensitivities. We will be healthier, wiser, and far more assertive about what we put in our mouths than ever before in history. And science will have found out why so many millions of us react badly to wheat and gluten. For some, a gluten-blocking pill or patch is a long-held dream, and I wouldn't mind popping something myself, then having a nice gooey cheesy slice. But who knows, in the post-gluten age the hunt for the magic bullet for when we just want the real thing may be beside the point because the alternative is so good and so much healthier--it is the real thing. How did I become so passionately involved in the issue of gluten-free, or, as my friends have adorably said, become a gluten-free goddess? I come from a family of writers and painters who believe that the artist's job is to bear witness to their circumstances. As a poet and novelist, I believe in the power of story to show us another way to handle our circumstances. My circumstances included celiac disease and the very primal hunt for food on a daily basis. I am interested in the gray areas and in the soft, emotional ground we all stand on, where so much of how we feel about food rests. I could care less about lists of what we should and should not do. I became an activist and author because I wanted to give voice to a group who once upon a time had none and to do it in a way that took into account the real lives of my readers. It doesn't get more personal than food. How we eat is inexorably intertwined with how we live. It is the sensory thread that runs through the narrative of our lives. Genes and destiny had something to do with it, too. My mother's maiden name was Petitpain, French for "little bread." Her people were originally from Nantes and Paris, and settled in the Caribbean city of Saint-Domingue, where, according to family legend, my ancestor, a young widow named Marguerite, was trying to figure out how to get her late husband's bakery out of debt just as the uprising that would birth the nation of Haiti was beating a bloody path to her door. She fled back to France, but her sons made for America and New Orleans, where one of them opened a bakery whose beignet recipe survived straight down into my own childhood. Given this heritage, it was a great surprise that after years of puzzling and increasingly troublesome symptoms, my own classic presentation of celiac disease was diagnosed, and among the first and second cousins in my generation, there are four more cases, as well as my mother, who demonstrated all the signs at the age of eighty-three. Another cousin, long plagued with plumbing problems, now sees her tricky digestion in terms of our family gene pool. I'm a believer in the idea that where we are injured is where we shine the brightest. Heal yourself first, then help others do the same. A gift for story and a keen sense of connecting the dots allowed me to do just that. Revolutions move fast and in unexpected ways. A book big enough to capture all the choices in our rapidly expanding gluten-free universe was a daunting proposition, one that is ultimately impossible. My goal is to instead arm you with the latest information and put you on the path to the good life without gluten, able to navigate any situation with knowledge, confidence, and joie de vivre. Because change is a fluid, vibrant thing, I want you to know how to look for the new products, services, and medical breakthroughs that will inevitably come after this book goes to press. On these pages you will learn how to find caterers, chefs, cooking teachers, dieticians, and culinary schools specializing in gluten-free cooking and baking, as well as ballparks with gluten-free hot dogs and buns. Gluten-free cookbooks abound, and I include a sampling of recipes from the best ones. There are gluten-free-friendly inns, hotels, and luxury resorts, as well as cruises, travel companies, and summer camps. In our increasingly connected world, community is crucial. I've included a guide to blogs, travel sites, bulletin boards, forums, gluten-free workshops and conferences, magazines full of articles and mouthwatering recipes, restaurant reviews, new product information, and articles for the allergic. A stroll through any farmers' market will net bread, rolls, cookies, muffins, scones, and often something to nibble on while shopping. In Chapter 5, "Marketing 101," I've listed the best places to meet your fellow travelers. There are smartphone apps to check product ingredients while shopping, others to give an overview of fast-food and chain restaurants' menu choices, and still others, through GPS mapping technology, that make it possible to find the nearest gluten-free bakery or restaurant. Still more offer a list of GMO-free products and those free of common allergens. With so many resources, this vastly expanded edition captures the complexity and enormity of the choices before you. Of course, food is always paramount. The food in this special anniversary edition showcases the range and excellence of gluten-free cuisine: Chapter 6, "Essential Skills," with its uncomplicated kitchen techniques and recipes, makes the point that the more we know about the simple preparation of food, the more control we have over our health and the less dependent we are on foods that come out of a box, bag, pouch, or frozen slab full of additives and artificial ingredients. Chapter 7, "Cooking With the Stars," proves that America's favorite chefs--celebrities and soon-to-be--are the most generous in the world. Among them are Alice Waters, Thomas Keller, Traci Des Jardins, Katy Sparks, Bobby Flay, Molly O'Neill, Marcie Turney, Kelli and Peter Bronski, Rick Bayless, Steve DiFillippo, and Kristine Kidd. Chapter 8, "A Baker's Dozen," offers recipes from America's best gluten-free bakers and one from as far away as Paris, from buttery pastries to extraordinary dairy-free and vegan concoctions. Chapter 9, "You Gotta Have It," speaks to the hunger for foods associated with childhood, love, and comfort, the times we remember most, the very ones usually loaded with gluten. Here you'll find recipes for guilty pleasures like Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese (page 208), Pizza Just Like Mama Makes (or Wishes She Could) (page 209), French Onion Soup with Gruyère-Smothered Crostini (page 213), Spiced Carrot Cake with Sweet Mascarpone Frosting (page 215), Oh, Mama! Meat Loaf (page 211), and more, with the gluten-free versions of products like Oreo cookies, ice cream sandwiches, and licorice, comfort foods you thought you'd never eat again. In Chapter 10, "Gather," we look at all the ways, large and small, we break bread together and bind ourselves to something much bigger than our dietary restrictions. For ordering a great meal anywhere in the world, provided your server is literate, see Chapter 14, "Sprechen Sie Gluten?" You'll find simplified and all-new foreign dining cards, twenty-three in all, including English--Arabic, Thai, Hindi, and Swahili, along with French, Spanish, German, Croatian, Hebrew, Swedish, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Czech, Italian, Japanese, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese--to take abroad or to the nearest ethnic restaurant. You can pack as many as you need for any given adventure. I've tackled the tough issues, too, ones that go well beyond the problem of what's for dinner. I have consulted with the experts to bring to you the newest tests, what to do, and who to see if you suspect you are gluten-intolerant. I offer a recipe for disaster and what to keep on hand for emergencies. How do we survive childhood? College? Dating? In Chapter 17, "Sex and the Celiac," I'll take on both the lighter and more serious side of reproduction, followed by some thoughts on raising happy, healthy, gluten-free kids, which includes an important discussion of childhood gluten intolerance by Ritu Verma, pediatric gastroenterologist and director of the Center for Celiac Disease at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Later you'll find answers to many other questions of concern to newcomers and veterans alike, such as where to find support groups, expos, and conferences, and, if you lean toward activism, how to get involved in the politics of lobbying for healthier food and GMO labeling. If you want to read this book from cover to cover, I won't complain, but I've structured it for you to dip into as situations arise. You may want to try a certain chef's recipe before you invest in his or her cookbook, find a gluten-free bed-and-breakfast, plan a Paris or Rome itinerary around the best gluten-free bakeries or gelaterias, or maybe you need to make or bake something special for a dinner party or picky eater. You may be thinking about becoming a vegan and wonder how that squares with the gluten-free diet. Or you're looking for a smartphone app, or just jonesing for something from your glutenous past. Maybe you want to read more about a particular subject or find a blogger who shares your worldview. I've ended every chapter with a way to learn more. I have signed more soup-stained editions than I can count, which thrills me beyond words. You might want to put a plastic cover on this one. It's going to get a lot of wear. The Gluten-Free Revolution , like my previous books, celebrates the whole person, not just the one sitting at the dinner table. A cheeky attitude and a healthy sense of humor help; I've learned this from long experience, and it's something I will never change. While I have focused on the new, I have not fiddled with what many of you now consider classic wisdom. I offer comfort, strategies for every occasion, and proactive approaches for everyone who has ever faced a howling hunger, an empty plate, a noncompliant waiter, or, worse, a member of the family who just doesn't get it. And believe me, despite national awareness of gluten intolerance and all the attention given to the gluten-free diet, there are still pockets of indifference and scorn. Those unenlightened souls are in the minority now, but still. There are those who dismiss us as faddists, but more often than not we find ourselves the focus of well-meaning questions and a genuine need to please. We must guard against being the recipients of attention spurred on by good intentions and not enough know-how. Like it or not, we must educate as well as negotiate. All these years later, I do know that nothing is more difficult than giving up the deep pleasure and satisfaction of one's favorite foods, even if avoiding them is purely voluntary. I still remember in piercing detail the aching sense of loss that accompanied my own diagnosis. How sick I was. How thin I got. How everywhere I looked I saw evidence of other people's pleasure. I grieved for the foods I thought I could never enjoy again and did what most people in denial do: I cheated every chance I could get. What saved me then and what will save you now is the thrill of discovery--a richly satisfying pumpkin and sage risotto, gnocchi light as clouds, Thai rice noodles, a pear and fig crisp still warm from the oven, a vegetarian or dairy-free dish that can't be, but is, the best meal you've ever had. Your own discoveries will lead you out of the kitchen and into the world of dinners, brunches, lunches, parties, weddings, holidays, vacations, and business trips. Creativity, emotional directness--a sense of fun; not gloom and doom--and a good bit of chutzpah will soon have your friends fussing, hostesses adjusting, and chefs gladly rising to the culinary challenge you offer. As you develop skills in your own kitchen, and cook for friends and family, you may even find you've got more gluten-free company than you bargained for. So easy will you make it look. My purpose is no different today than it was when I first started. I am convinced that nothing is beyond the person who can conquer the loss of something as important, as primal, and as basic to one's comfort as food. I present my case for choosing joy over sorrow, self-assertion and resourcefulness over scarcity and negative thinking, pleasure over regret, generosity over self-absorption, and health over what I call Industrial Eating . Whether you are a veteran or a newcomer, have endured a lifetime of being sick or just feel better without gluten, my modest hope is that you will find on these pages one of life's most transforming lessons: imperfection is what makes us interesting, injury the motive that makes us shine. And if by chance you miss a meal, there's always another one coming. Not to mention two snacks. Tomorrow you get to start all over. What follows is the only way I know to live: with a glad heart, a wise head, and a full stomach. Chapter and verse, this special anniversary edition chronicles this remarkable gluten-free revolution of ours. It is my proof that living without gluten has never been easier or more satisfying, a piece of cake, actually. With all that is available to us today, no one should go hungry, miss a celebration, be ignored, or have to eat something underwhelming just because it's gluten-free. Know that you join a large, boisterous, and sometimes fractious family; we have walked in your gluten-free shoes. No road is long in good company and no day that includes laughter is ever wasted. Armed with information, a good sense of humor, and food you never thought you'd eat again, there's no reason this can't be one of life's excellent adventures. Welcome to the gluten-free revolution. Jax Peters Lowell Philadelphia, 2014 Copyright © 2015 by Jax Peters Lowell Excerpted from The Gluten-Free Revolution: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know about Losing the Wheat, Reclaiming Your Health and Eating Happily Ever After by Jax Peters Lowell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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