Blogger Spotlight: Gluten-Free Girl
July 13th, 2010
02:30 PM ET
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Every weekday, we're highlighting a local or regional blogger we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.

Meet today's featured blogger and blog:
Who: Shauna James Ahern, of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
Where: Seattle, Washington
Twitter: @glutenfreegirl

I have always loved food. Every story I share with my dear friend Sharon seems to involve food of some kind (and falling down). Even though I ate a requisite number of processed foods when growing up (I was born in the late 60s, so I was raised on Wonder Bread), my mother was a good cook. She could bake like no one’s business. And over the years, I started going to farmers markets, cooking with good olive oil, and eating food from recipes that originated from outside the boundaries of the United States.

But it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with celiac that I truly started focusing on the food.

Food is the path to healing in celiac. There is no pill we can take, no surgery we can endure, and in fact, no cure other than living on an entirely gluten-free diet. Some find that distressing. I find it a blessing.

In order to be well, I have to eat well. I have to feed myself. I have to live in food.

When I was diagnosed with celiac, I had a visceral understanding that I was now a self I had never been before. And I needed some time to myself. I decided to take a year off from dating at all.

Four days to the year, I met a chef named Daniel Ahern.

I knew, at once. This is the love of my life. But I held off for six weeks from writing about him on my site. I had to be sure. I knew that once I began writing about him, everything would change.

Oh boy, how the website changed. It used to be called "Gluten-Free Girl." Now it's "Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef."

Within a few months of our falling in love, the Chef started changing his menus. He always found a way to feed me safely when I went into his restaurant. He understood the details of living gluten-free, immediately. The Chef loves and lives in food like no one else I have ever known. For him, cooking gluten-free was a compelling challenge, a chance to discover foods he had never eaten.

But one day, I looked up after typing up the next month’s menu, and said, “Hey honey. I can eat everything on this menu.”

“I know,” he said.

“What have you done?”

And he said, quite simply, “You are my muse. I don’t want to create another dish, and be excited by it, and find I can’t share it with you. I’m just going to make everything gluten-free from now on.”

And he still does. Oh, how I love him.

Anyone who thinks that living gluten-free is deprivation? Come on over to our house for dinner.

Do you read a local blog that you'd like to see featured? Send 'em our way for a chance in the spotlight.

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  1. tazer warrior princess

    Celiac is so restrictive, so I'm glad there's bloggers out there willing to spread information on ways to change gluten-free eating. It's tough, for a newly diagnosed Celiac sufferer, to come up with a variety of safe foods to eat. Kudos.

    July 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • omgeee

      Anoyying as it may be, you can join Bratfree to discuss Gluten Free Girl, Shauna Ahern. Register and post at The Island sub forum.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:46 am |
  2. Betsy

    Jen, interesting that your dad gets rosacea from eating gluten. Shauna's complexion often looks like she has rosacea but I don't think she's ever said anything about it. Maybe not diagnosed?

    October 14, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  3. Lisa

    I am a Celiac patient, and I just have to comment that finding her blog has been so refreshing. Being diagnosed with Celiac, you are instantly overwhelmed with information about what you can't eat. Food is many times the center of social gatherings and even work functions. After the initial sensation of being overwhelmed passed, I was able to pick up some very good resources and began learning to cook differently. I had grown up learning the meals passed down from my family and found I was able to modify most of them to fit my needs. I have found cooking to be fun even through the trial and error of taste testing these supplements of ingredients. I feel lucky to live in a time when more and more focus is being placed on research and education of this autoimmune disease. There are more and more products coming out all the time.

    October 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  4. Fitness Chic

    Link to CNN article where she makes the above quote:

    October 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  5. Fitness Chic

    Gluten Free Girl's comment about wheat and shellfish allergies in this article are very uneducated, dangerous and WRONG.
    She states the following which is simply not true.
    – A wheat allergy is like any standard allergy, with a reaction similar to what a sufferer might have to animal dander or shellfish – hives or mild nausea. –

    I take offensive to Gluten Free Girl's reference to being allergic to wheat as a "run-of-the-mill wheat allergy".
    Bing someone that is diagnosed with a wheat allergy, my reaction to eating wheat can be life threatening and causes me to have an anaphylactic reaction. Due to my wheat allergy I have to carry an EpiPen and be extremely careful as to what I eat.

    Lastly there is not such thing as a "standard" allergy, they range from moderate to sever.
    Very disappointing and disheartening to think that someone would write such a statement without doing their fact checking first.

    October 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  6. jen

    I have grown up with my dad having celiac.....I have never known anything different. He gets a skin rash within seconds and feels like his skin is crawling, which has also lead to a severe vitamin D deficiency (I would recomend celiac's take a supplement) rosacea, sensitivity to sun, etc) Yes, sometimes people don't get it and salad's at restaurants have to be re-made because of croutons, but in general my family eats very little processed foods and enjoys eating out fewer times, but at nicer quality restaurants where the salad dressing is made from scratch. This was especially nice when they came to visit me in college because we wern't going out for pizza and wings.....we were getting steak!! One frustrating moment for me was when my in-laws refused to plan a menu around my dad for the rehearsal dinner, and didn't call to even inquire about safe choices for him. I wanted all of my wedding events to be like my familys Thanksgiving.....where everything is gluten free and my dad doesn't get a 'special meal.' Needless to say they can hardly boil water and eat at chain restaurants almost every night and they just don't get how easy it is to plan a gluten free menu. I ended up ordering a filet mignon for my dad and giving him whatever he wanted regardless of their extra charge. I know they say to pick your battles with your in laws, but this was my proverbial straw and I will admit I will probably hold a grudge to them and their ignorance/lack of sensitivity for the rest of my life. I am in my early 20s and have been cooking/baking and planning gluten free meals for years. We especially enjoy ethnic food....Indian.....Thai.....Lebanese (skip the pita)....heck if you want to go the chain route PF Chang's has gluten free options. For years my dad dealt with the crumbly sandwiches....and then.......we got a panini maker!!! We were all amazed at how well his bread held together once it was pressed and heated. His favorite combo is dijon mustard, mayo, bacon, green apple slices and a nice quality white cheddar cheese. I feel sorry for John, and I am certian if he came to my house or many others he would realize just how easy it is to make great gluten free meals!!!!

    October 6, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • omgeee

      You're holding a grudge because your dad missed one meal? God, you really are crazy as Gluten Free Girl

      July 7, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  7. Hillary T

    I have been gluten free for 6 years and I too, live for food.

    In America we are so wrapped up in flour we may as well be the Nutella inside of a crepe!

    If I had never been diagnosed with Celiac Disease I would most likely still be eating shit. To me it has been a blessing. It has opened my eyes to so many different foods! I now try everything (that I can). I have people who feel bad for me when I tell them I can't have wheat and I look at them like they have three heads. Why feel bad? It has made no negative impact on my life what-so-ever.

    Oh, and baking a batch of cookies takes a half an hour tops. It's really not serious and you will have enouch cookies for two weeks! You can purchase a mix (Pamela's brand, DELICIOUS) that will make 3 batches for $6. They also make many different types of gluten free bread, my personal favorite, Schar.

    August 31, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  8. Sarah

    Thanks for sharing your experience. May you would also like to check out this website

    August 17, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  9. Kevin

    Shauna is sending a mixed message in her blogs. On the one hand, she advocates for eating whole foods including fresh vegetables and fruit. This is healthy. On the other hand, she uses a lot of oil, butter, lard, and bacon fat in her recipes, and she eats a lot of processed meat. This is not very healthy.

    It's also at odds with the many stories that CNN has done in the recent past about the growing obesity problem in the US. You have Sanjay Gupta and Michelle Obama regularly talking about cutting back on the consumption of meat, fat, and sugary desserts and drinks but you choose to profile a blog that doesn't promote moderation in diet, despite whatever the blogger claims. It's like those women's magazines at the supermarket checkout that almost always have a big photo of a scrumptious dessert next to a headline screaming "LOSE 10 POUNDS IN TIME FOR YOUR VACATION". Americans want to be healthy but they don't want to give up their indulgences. Same with this blogger, apparently. And CNN has covered all the bases.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  10. Manly

    Is this the woman who also writes that pork blog? Seriously, pork pork pork. She eats pork every day, according to her pork knife and spoon blog. And not just a little. I ran some of the foods she makes and obviously eats through a calorie analysis site and came up with 1500 calories for ONE serving. Sure, there's no gluten in there, but that doesn't make it healthy.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  11. Gwyneth

    Seriously slow news day, huh? Middle aged people go on diets and do online dating as a desperate means to an end all the time. Next story please!

    July 14, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  12. Karen

    I applaud Shauna's world food view that one should say yes to trying new things and cooking more from scratch. I just would like to see more balance in general in what she recommends. Less meat, less fat, and less sugar would be healthier.

    July 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  13. Patty

    I was diagnosed two years ago after suffering (and I do mean suffering) for more than 20 years. In addition to having a gluten intolerance, I also have a corn intolerance, which I find even more tricky than gluten. I work 2 jobs, average 60-70 hours per week, and somehow manage to get my cooking done, even if it's just making a chicken for the week.. Shauna's blog is wonderful, almost invaluable. Yes, I've had cooking experiments that have gone wrong, and I will probably never frequent a fast food place again. There are plenty of options if you are willing to look at this situation as a lifesaver than a life drainer. You're right, it's hard to trust a menu unless you know the restaurant well. It's gotten much easier, not harder, to live this way. The most difficult issue tends to be people's attitude about my dietary needs, not about finding food that will keep me well. Good luck to all, and congrats to Shauna and Danny.

    July 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  14. John

    My condolences to you for having the disease. You say you've had it for a year. After about 30 more years, your views will change, I guarantee it. I'm glad you have the bright outlook you have. You're gonna need it.
    I don't know if you work or not. If you have all the time it takes to bake and prepare all your foods yourself, it doesn't sound like you do. I work 40-50 hours a week, and I just don't have the time. And unlike the author of this blog, I'm not married to a chef. I have to rely on the prepared gluten free foods. There is only one (count 'em, one!) gluten free packaged food that is actually enjoyable, and that is a frozen cheese pizza on a brown rice crust. But you can't eat that every day. And let me re-emphasize that eating out just plain sucks. You can't trust anything on the menu even if they swear there's no flour.
    Good luck to you and all the others who have written in. Keep up your good attitudes, because after years and years and years of having to eat gluten free, your outlook will change. Believe it.

    July 14, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
    • Laura


      I respect that you don't need a bunch of strangers trying to convince you that there is life without gluten if your 30 years' experience proves otherwise to you. But don't assume that after 'years and years and years of having to eat gluten free' others' attitudes will change. I've never felt better or been happier now that I am gluten-free. And I know I won't look back.

      July 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Sennik

      I have been a celiac for 39 years and I do not share your pessimism. No, I cannot eat at say, a potluck, but many restaurants are becoming aware of the disease and creating GF entrees. Shoot, even Olive Garden has a GF penne. I also work about 50 hours a week (as does my wife) and we have recently started using the GF e-mealz plan. The recipes are simple, inexpensive, and have enough variation to keep even the kids (who I managed to pass it on to) happy.

      August 31, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  15. John

    GET REAL! Celiac disease "opens up a world of possible foods you would never have gotten the chance to eat before"??? Are you for real? Do you mean foods like crumbly rice flour bread that can't even hold together long enough to build a sandwich much less eat it? Or gluten free soups that cost three or four times what regular soup costs?
    The only grains we're allowed to eat are rice and corn, with a little oats thrown in for good measure. Did you know you can't eat regular Rice Crispies? Or regular corn flakes? They have a malt coating on them, which comes from barley. So you have to buy gluten free cereals that taste like crap! I've been the rice flour, tapioca flour, God knows what else flour route, and it is certainly not a fun, enlightening dining experience.
    You obviously live in a large city with many big supermarkets and specialty stores. Where I live it is very difficult to buy any gluten free items in the stores where we shop.
    And as far as eating pies or bread or anything made with rice flour, I've tried them all. I have had a gluten sensitivity since 1972, so I'm no newbie in this game. After dealing with this problem for almost 40 years, it makes me laugh to read these entries saying how wonderful eating gluten free can be. It's NOT wonderful. It does NOT open new horizons for my eating enjoyment. It is what it is: a royal pain in the ass, and I hate having to deal with it. Every hour of every day I curse the fact that i have Celiac disease. And I always will.
    Am I bitter? You bet your a** I'm bitter. I don't need a chance to, as another person wrote, "live healthier as a Celiac". I'm a Type I diabetic and I already eat a very healthy diet. Having Celiac disease only complicats an already complicated situation.

    July 14, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • Bev

      I live 30 minutes from the nearest specialty store and I dont' go there often. I don't even buy special gluten free foods anymore unless I'm traveling. I make my own stuff. This morning for breakfast I'm going to have banana nut muffins made with rice flour and flax seed. They are moist and wonderful, not at all flakey or dy. It takes some trial and error to find the right products to use. The internet is full of wonderful recipes you can use. I spent a few weeks angry when I found out what my diet would be like, but I got over it. I make gluten free muffins, pizza, apple crisp and cookies. I eat fresh veggies and fruits. Every now and again I wish I could go to pizza hut but it just won't happen so I deal with it.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  16. Carolyn

    Thank you CNN on spotlighting this blogger and chef AND providing information regarding Celiac Disease and Gluten Free lifestyle. Many of us were sick for many many many years before it was figured out what was going on.

    July 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
  17. Eileen

    Shauna and Danny have been my trail blazers. They have shared everything that they have learned so we could just look up a recipe on their site, for say; PIE CRUST and I know it will work because they already tested it many times for us. They have given so many of us that opportunity to know that our life without gluten will actually be better! A lot of that is because we get to know these two wonderful people, like friends.

    July 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  18. Playin_d_fiddle

    A commenter stated: "No Pizza. No sandwiches.... No pasta. No chicken fried anything. No casseroles. No cakes. No pies. The list is almost endless."

    That just means that for the Celiacs, now it's time to eat healthier! All of those things now sounds so impossibly heavy that I couldn't imagine going back to eating, what is considered by some Celiacs, a "normal person's" gluten diet. I like knowing what's in my food. I like that it makes me healthier and happier. It's an alarming daignosis at first, until the possibilities open themselves up to you and you stop feeling sorry for yourself – stop feeling sorry for yourself and start eating better than you ever have in your life!

    I love Shauna's blog. It was for me one of the first resources I latched onto when navigating through the ins and outs of an unfamiliar new world of gluten free. When you read her blog you'll see that it doesn't take "a chef" to cook things that will be safe and feed your belly in a happy way; her hubby just happens to have a bit more training than the rest of us! But! I bet when he bakes a chicken breast he opens the oven and sticks in a pan just like the rest of us :)

    It's all a matter of perspective and approach. Embrace life and eat well. You'll experience the YES that Shauna and Danny (and Lu) live every day. Cheers guys!

    July 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  19. Carolyn-What Life Dishes Out

    Many Gluten Free baked goods freeze really well, so dedicate one day a week, or even one day a month, to baking and you, too can have a freezer full of goodies so you NEVER feel deprived! I work at home, homeschool my two boys and still find time to bake bread and other goodies for my oldest GF kiddo, and now I'm blogging about it, too! It's easy to fall into the trap of feelling sorry for yourself and thinking about all that you can't have! But, just bake a few of the GREAT GF recipes out there and you will no longer feel that way! My younger son, who is NOT gluten-intolerant COMPLAINS that he isn't because my older son gets the "special" stuff baked for him! :-) If you want to check out my recipes, like GF Brownies, Cream Puffs, Flatbread, Sandwich Bread, and more, please visit my blog at

    July 13, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  20. Allie

    Even though I don't have to be gluten free, I ran across Shauna's lively blog a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. I love the intelligence and humor Shauna brings to her life, and her fabulous recipes will inspire anyone to be passionate about great food.

    July 13, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  21. Nikki

    The author made lemonaid out of lemons, she's a treasure! Thank you for your posts!

    July 13, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  22. gail

    I have been gluten free for 15 years. My last boyfriend didn't want me to have to cook twice so he ate gluten free dinners willingly, although he still had dessert-(frequently Oreo cookies) everyday. I must admit it was a wonderful blessing to have a boyfriend who made my being a Celiac a non-issue.

    I used to spend a substantial part of my weekend preparing food but I don't like spending so much of my free time doing so. That means that I have just given up those items that are substitutes for foods that are not naturally gluten free.

    I wish that there were more options that I could just buy in the supermarket but as long as gluten free is seen as "specialty food", and the food industry doesn't catch on to the needs of over a million celiacs in America. I submit that my food choices are too expensive and too limited.

    On the other hand, look at how far we have come. I remember when Doctors in North America had never heard of Celiac Disease because the medical schools did not teach it and the NIH did not list it in their many volumes of all diseases. (Just so you know that was only a decade ago.).

    July 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  23. John

    I have multiple diseases including diabetes, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disese, but the most distressing and hard to live with disease I have is Celiac disease.
    Having to eat gluten free food is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. Nobody understands it; nobody realizes what it entails. What if I walked up to you and said, "Ok, for the rest of your life, you can't eat flour." You say, "Ok, I'll eat something else." But most people don't realize that the "something else" really scrapes the bottom of the food barrell. No Pizza. No sandwiches. Sandwiches, for god's sake! Who the hell wants to do without freakin' sandwiches? No pasta. No chicken fried anything. No casseroles. No cakes. No pies. The list is almost endless.
    And eating out is a nightmare. You ask the waiter, "Does this dish contain gluten?" He says, "I don't know ... I'll go ask the chef." He comes back and says, "No." So you order it and when it arrives, you take one look at it and realize that even if he did actually ask the chef, then the chef doesn't even know what gluten is.
    This author lives for food? Don't be rediculous. If you have Celiac disease, you hide from food.

    July 13, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Nicole

      John, you've obviously never read her blog. Shauna does live for food. She spends a lot of her time cooking, yes, but she eats better than many gluten-tolerant people in the States do.

      Pasta, pizza, pies. You can make it all gluten free, and it can be delicious. I make gluten-free biscotti, muffins, and cake that are adored by gluten-tolerant friends who would never suspect that they are gluten-free.

      Yeah it's really hard to eat out, but more and more restaurants are catching on. And eating at home is usually healthier anyway.

      ONE of the great things about this blog is that Shauna has a wonderful husband who is a professional chef and they are developing wonderful gluten-free recipes together. She is kind enough to take the knowledge they are gaining for their family and share it with the rest of us! They are a real family, who is gluten-free, who lives for food, and is happy.

      July 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • Bev

      If you want pies or cakes use rice flour or gluten free baking mixes. If you want something fried get ready for your other health conditions to get worse. If you start paying attention to what you eat and cut out all processed foods you might find your other conditions get better. I found out I had a gluten intolerance roughly a year ago. I already ate healthy and now I eat super healthy. Vary rarely will processed foods touch my lips. Not being able to eat gluten doesn't restrict you in the least, it opens up a world of possible foods you would never have gotten the chance to eat before. As for going out to eat, I recently had a tomatoe and mozzarella salad with a balsamic glaze that was completely gluten free and delicious.

      July 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Definitely read Shauna's blog. I'm pretty sure she's changed lives with it - not the least of which, her own. She eats joyfully and wants you to as well.

      July 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Diane-The WHOLE Gang

      John- I feel really sorry for you. You really have convinced yourself your life sucks and it really doesn't I live gluten free and diary free and I eat pizza, sandwiches, pasta. fried chicken, lasagna, mac & cheese. There are not many things I want that I can't find a recipe somewhere or make one up. I own 2 businesses and work 50-80 hours a week. I cook the foods we eat at home and we do eat out a lot. Anyone can focus on what you can't have or can't do and whine and feel sorry for ourselves, OR we can decide to make positive changes. We can decide to try new things and educate ourselves and the people around us who are making our food. So much has changed in 30 years as far as people being aware of gluten free living and what is available now is plentiful. I hope someday John you will come back and read all of the notes people here have written to you. Take the time to read blogs like Shauna's and learn something new. You just might find things can get easier with a little help from your friends.

      July 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • Karen

      I'm a celiac and I hide from nothing. I consider the diagnosis to actually be a blessing. The gluten-free diet gave me my life back, within a week I felt better than I had in over a decade. Sure, it's hard. But all I have to do is remember what my life was like just a few months ago and it is so worth the trouble. I was barely able to function before I started the diet, it seemed like I got sick no matter what I ate and I had begun to think that no doctor and no treatment could make me better. Here I am just a short time later with a new doc and two new diagnoses with a new lease on life and a whole new outlook. I'm back to work, back to school and instead of living day by day I can actually plan for and look forward to a future that I thought was lost forever. It's not a new me, I got the old me back and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Not even chocolate cake.

      Besides that, I've learned to appreciate the little things so much more. I'm pretty sure I was the happiest person in all of Baltimore the day I first set foot in the Sweet Sin Bakery and Cafe, where the owner is a celiac and a pastry chef and I knew I could eat freely with no worries. It's way too far from where I live to go regularly, but that just makes it even better when I can. I light up when I find gluten-free cupcakes or cookies at the grocery store or in the university dining hall. I don't take these simple things for granted anymore and while before, they tasted great, now they make me happy AND they taste great. I'm also incredibly grateful for all the resources on the internet, even if they are not always totally correct, because these are people who already blazed the trail ahead of me and took the time to document what they've learned along the way.

      This is not a burden to me. Being sick was the burden. I'm free from that now and I'll do whatever I have to to keep it that way.

      October 2, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
    • Rbnlegnd101


      You need to do some more research. Every one of those things you listed is still available to you. If you have been gluten free for a long time, you have probably developed habits that you need to look beyond. Your gluten free options have expanded tremendously. I can order a gluten free pizza delivered to my home, or go to at least three different places within a reasonable drive to get one. I can pick up frozen gluten free mac and cheese at the grocery store, or not frozen in a box. Look for annies brand, their mac and cheese with the powedered cheese is as good as any boxed mac and cheese with gluten. My favorite NY pizza and pasta place recently added GF options in both pizza and pasta to their menu. Casseroles and stews are certainly an option, celiac finally got my wife to eat that sort of dish, and made our crock pot a useful kitchen item again. Cakes? A local bakery makes GF cupcakes and charges the same price they do for the regular cupcakes. Pies? Ok, harder to do, but can be done. Apple crisp isn't apple pie, but GF apple crisp is an easy comfort food.

      Five or ten years ago, your choices were a lot more limited, but right at this moment, your options are expanding. Betty crocker has GF cake and cookie mixes on the shelf at many grocery stores, and bisquick has just come out with a gluten free product. Mass market options are putting some of the GF specialty places out of business, which hurts from a local, high quality perspective, but I think overall it helps.

      I work the same sort of work week, with a long commute, and a picky 8 year old to feed as well. That's no excuse. Tell me your zip code and I can point you at local GF options.

      October 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  24. Start with salt

    Start cutting and watching your daily sodium and start at least walking and you'll be healthier and lose weight and de-bloat your body and face.

    Fat? What about fat? Watch that poison – sodium like a hawk.

    July 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • Carolyn

      It has nothing to do with salt. Please education yourself on what happens to Celiacs.

      July 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
      • Georgina

        Apparently, celiacs gain lots of weight and splotchiness.

        July 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  25. Tess

    You don't need a chef to have great, gluten-free food (as nice as that must be.) Part of not feeling deprived is opening up your ideas when it comes to starch. My household rarely ate bread before my partner was diagnosed with celiac disease. Websites like Shauna's have opened up even more alternatives to gluten than we'd been using before. If you're used to processed foods, you've got an adjustment ahead of you. But I'd argue that it's an adjustment that gluten-tolerant people (like me) should also be making. There are many things you can make for dinner that don't take tons of time and will keep you healthy. And Shauna's is only one of a number of great food sites for celiacs, so don't despair!

    July 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • Rbnlegnd101

      In my house, my wife's diagnosis has actually expanded our eating options. We have to think about what to prepare, and actually prepare food. No way around that. Which means we can't default to the same limited menu day in and day out. We could fall into a new rut, but with the old habit broken, it's a chance to learn a new approach. There is very little that you can't make gluten free, if you take the time, but there is a lot that you can't grab off the shelf.

      October 6, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  26. Robert

    These days (Seattle especially), there are many gluten-free foods sold in stores and more recipe books floating around to give you ideas. Bob's Red Mill provides lots of alternate form ingredients, giving people like that more options. It just means you pay even more attention to what you are eating, something I think many people should be doing.

    July 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  27. Laura

    It's not deprivation EVER, seconded! I don't have a personal chef at home but I do read Shauna's blog at home. And with the recipes she's developed and shared, I do bake bread AND cookies for myself. When you read Shauna's blog, you'll also see there is not a whole lot of sitting around there ... Gluten-free Girl & the Chef are very hard working people!

    July 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  28. mindy

    It's not a deprivation EVER! I bet you have time to sit and watch tv or be on the computer you could easily take that time and bake or cook for yourself. I'm homeschooling 4 kids working a job outside of the home 25+ hours a week and keeping a house and find the time to bake for me and my family...5 of the 6 of us have Celiac's. If you can't say anything nice just don't comment.

    July 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • thetruth

      Yeah, you don't have a real job, lady. It's easy to fart around in the kitchen like Shauna all day when you don't live in the real world.

      November 24, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  29. sabs

    You don't need to be eating cookies every week.
    As for bread. It's actually fairly easy to buy gluten free bread.
    It's also amazingly easy to make 2 loafs of bread on a sunday that will last you the entire week.

    July 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • gail

      The gluten free breads that I make usually go bad with a day or two. I have basically given up on them because I don't eat the whole loaf in 1-2 days and they are not worth the time and energy it takes to make them.

      July 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
      • Alain

        Hello there

        The way I do it is let my bread col down, slice it, wrap it tightly and freeze it.
        When you need a slice, toast it for a few seconds and voila! Fresh GF bread.


        July 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  30. Beth

    Yeah, its not a deprivation when you have your own personal chef! Most of us don't have the time to sit around and bake our own cookies and bread every week.

    July 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Shawn

      Beth – stop feeling sorry for yourself and take advantage of the wonderful resource that has been reccomended to you! If you take the time to read the blog and investigate some of the recipes listed, you'll be better equipped to eat healthily. I've been GF for over a year, and this blog was one of the first true lifelines I found. From product reccomendations to recipes for food that actually tastes like food – not to mention the encouragement that I'm not the first to tackle this and I'm not alone.

      July 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
      • Ana

        For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this woman has a following. She is annoying, pretencious, frequently posts unusable receipies that require major corrections later on, she'll claim any darn thing as good as long as it turns a buck for her (pig farms are homey? And did anyone see the GREY pizza she posted not too long ago?). She is unhealthy, overweight, and no surprise seeing how she loves her fat and sugar (receipies are full of it). I would also question the cleanliness of her kitchen, given the photos of dirty nails and hands preparing food and her daughter getting into every thing that she posts. There are much, MUCH better options for individuals who must be gluten free than GFG.

        July 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • paola

      Beth, try to open up your mind to possibilities, you will be healthier, happier and that is what you will radiate. I have found some amazing gluten free English muffins, and now, I am a happy camper. I don't have to cook them, they taste great, they don't spoil, and I can even make sandwiches with them. "Be well, be happy.."

      July 14, 2010 at 12:26 am |
      • OBoy

        I've been to her website – most of her recipes don't work. She puts up recipes, saying "This is the ULTIMATE (cinnamon roll/pie crust/puff pastry). You will NEVER want to try another", then six months later says "Oh yeah, remember that old recipe for x that I had up? Well THIS new recipe is SO MUCH BETTER!".

        July 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
      • Giulietta

        I have to second OBoy here- her advice and recipes are inconsistent, and she often makes big mistakes that commenters have to correct. I'm not sure that she understands the chemistry of GF baking yet. If I am going to use expensive GF baking ingredients, I want clear instructions and recipes that really work. It's an AWFUL feeling to have to throw a whole batch of something in the trash.

        July 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • MaryG

      I just finished the Quantum Wellness Cleanse which calls for no gluten, no sugar, no alchohol, no caffein, and no animal products. My husband is diabetic so he did most of the cleanse as well. We found great recipes for making sugar free, gluten free breads (I made up my own for banana bread and pumpkin bread). We made gluten free waffles for Sunday breakfast. He found a good gluten free breakfast cereal (Barbara's Puffins) and there is a good gluten free bread (Udi's). After 21 days I feel great. I don't have Celiac but maybe had gluten sensitivity. I plan to keep that part of my healthy eating plan. Giving up dairy and eggs - that was hard.

      September 1, 2010 at 9:01 am |
      • Rbnlegnd101

        My wife has celiac. Her doctor wanted her to do an extensive elimination diet, and while avoiding gluten has been managable, gluten and dairy wasn't. We have cut back on dairy for her, but eliminating it is just too much. We have eliminated gluten, and some of the other items, but eliminating milk butter and cheese, in conjunction with gluten, is proving to be just too much.

        October 6, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Hiss_Mannigan

      I don't live on The Island. Can I still eat gluten free?

      May 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
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