Thursday, December 31, 2009

Review: The G-Free Diet by Elisabeth Hasselbeck

I have had The G-Free Diet: A Gluten Free Survival Guide by Elisabeth Hasselbeck on my bookshelf for several months and had to find the right time to read this book. Ms. Hasselbeck is well known as a co-host on The View and has been outspoken about her journey with celiac disease. Elisabeth found herself sick, starting in college and couldn't figure out what was the cause of her illness. She consulted numerous doctors and specialists but not one was able to help her determine the cause of her stomach problems and illness. She was a contestant on the TV show Survivor, with a very limited diet and was able to pinpoint her health problems to wheat and ultimately gluten. She had to be her own advocate and ended up diagnosing herself and finally found a specialist in Celiac Disease that did further testing to confirm the diagnosis.

In the G- Free Diet Hasselback shares how she learned to adjust her lifestyle to a gluten free life. She shares her experiences and suggestions throughout the book from what exactly gluten is to how to read food labels, finding gluten-free products, how to grocery shop effectively, adapt recipes, how to manage G-Free living with family and friends and more. This is a great book for the beginner and it includes extensive lists of products and restaurants that are G-Free.

The G- Free Diet focuses primarily on celiac disease but it also highlights other health conditions that may benefit from changing to a gluten free diet. Such conditions as arthritis, diabetes and even autism. There are many parents who have found significant improvement with their children with autism after changing their diets to a gluten and casein free diet. There is a chapter that discusses this in the book. I have several friends who have children with autism who follow this type of diet. They have found it has made a significant improvement in their children's lives.

I decided it was the perfect time to read this book as I am researching a gluten free diet for my son. I've mentioned here before that my son has major food allergies, with peanuts and tree nuts being the worst as they are life threatening. He also has many other food allergies and lactose intolerance. We are researching some changes in his diet as we believe he may be sensitive to gluten and feel that it may be beneficial to try a diet change. The G- Free Diet will be a good resource to use if we decide to go down this road of becoming gluten free. I found many suggestions that were familiar to me with already having a child with food allergies. I am constantly on alert and checking food labels, checking with manufacturers and careful about foods that my son eats at school and at restaurants.

The G- Free Diet would be a good resource to start with if you , your child or family member has been diagnosed with celiac disease or needs to follow a gluten free diet. Hasselback is a prime example to many that you often need to be your own advocate and research information yourself to get answers. This is not to say that anyone can self diagnose themselves accurately, you should always confirm this with a medical professional. I feel that the book is more geared toward the newly diagnosed and the person who has learned to live a G-free lifestyle may already be familiar with this information. I would have liked to have more information from a medical doctor added as an additional chapter or addendum to explain the medical issues. Also, the professional advice added from a nutritional point of view by a medical doctor and/or nutritionist would have been an added bonus.

For more information, check out the G-Free diet website . You can read an excerpt from the book, here.

Disclosure: Copy of book provided for review from Hachette. I am an Amazon associate.


  1. Nice review, Bonnie. I won this a few months ago and sent it right to one of my sisters who has Celiac disease. I'll have to ask her what she thinks of it (haven't seen her since I sent it). I think one thing this book accomplishes is putting a known face on the disease. Just knowing that others deal with the same issues can be helpful - and this is a tough disease to live with because there is gluten is so many things we eat. Perhaps an updated edition of the book will come out with the additional info you found lacking. I agree, it would be helpful.

  2. Thanks for this review. I have had this book on my shelf for a while (I am always on the look out for books about eating healthier) and was very interested in what you had to say. especially facsinated with the conditions it affects in a possitive ways... =D


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