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Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back...and How You Can Too

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,084 Ratings  ·  260 Reviews
A delightful memoir of learning to eat superbly while remaining gluten free."
-"Newsweek" magazine"Give yourself a treat! "Gluten-Free Girl" offers delectable tips on dining and living with zest-gluten-free. This is a story for anyone who is interested in changing his or her life from the inside out!"
-Alice Bast, executive director National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

ebook, 288 pages
Published May 4th 2009 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,985)
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Jan 17, 2008 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who is constantly trying to learn more about food and new ways to make recipes and who has a chronic illness with dietary reprocussions, I was really interested in reading this book. What a disappointment.

I don't quite understand was she so obsessed with rehashing the foods of her childhood. It seemed like at least a third of the book was spent bad mouthing the food she grew up with (which seemed typical of many American family diets in the 1970s) without drawing any real parallels t
Feb 24, 2008 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore foodies, chefs
This highly-touted book got off to a great start but by the end had dissolved into sentimental pap. Ahern makes some excellent points and recommendations for people who need to eat gluten-free and, after diagnosis, suddenly find that they must dramatically adjust their eating habits. But she's a hardcore foodie, and, as such, impractical and obsessive about preparing/thinking about/eating/living with/shopping for food. My mom, who must live gluten-free (I read her copy of this book), doesn't hav ...more
Kathleen F
Mar 19, 2008 Kathleen F rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
I've known about this book since before it was first published, and could only bring myself to read it now. As a person who's living with Celiac Disease, I really wanted to love this book. But I haven't been able to meet my diagnosis with the everlasting "yes" that Shauna James Ahern has. For me, it's more like the everlasting "oy."

Having admitted this, it can be difficult to read such unceasing positivity. I think it's WONDERFUL that she's transformed her life and her way of eating because of h
else fine
Jan 27, 2011 else fine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, didn-tfinish
People keep trying to loan me this book. I wish they would stop. I also have celiac disease, and lean towards sounding like a newly converted missionary at times, and like many other people with the disease, I spend a lot of time stewing over the terrible foods I ate in my benighted ignorance, and the horrible ramifications my diet had for my health. Seriously - I lived on those cans of fried mock duck chunks you find at Asian markets (wheat gluten fried in wheat sauce), noodles, and beer. It's ...more
Intentional Jen
Jun 18, 2008 Intentional Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: food lovers, mindful eaters or those looking to do so...
Words cannot even begin to express how I feel about Gluten Free Girl. As a reader of her companion blog, I have fallen in love with the smooth words and beautiful descriptions that Shauna describes on the pages of both her blog and book.

This book is not a HOW TO on being Gluten free, as a portion of the title suggests. (That part should have been left off the title.) Instead, Shauna takes us on a journey of how she fell in love with food, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and how she learned t
Andra Watkins
Aug 30, 2011 Andra Watkins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this book. I love food, even though I am sensitive to gluten. I adore eating. I even like Shauna's blog.

This book comes off snooty and condescending. For some people, embracing life fully is not about making food, tasting food, communing through food. For others, like the author, living life IS about that, and that is fine. There are multiple ways to deal with a gluten intolerance or celiac, with hers being just one of them. In both her monotonous litanies about the poisonous f
Lady Susan
This was a 2.5. I guess I should preface this review by saying that I really like Shauna's website: Gluten-free Girl. It was one of the first food blogs I was introduced to. Ironically, I now find it an invaluable resource since I have been diagnosed as celiac.

That being said.....I find her writing to be too much at times. Too flowery, too descriptive, to wordy. times I thought the book a bit....pretentious? I mean, she went on and on about all these exotic and expensive ingredients th
Mar 06, 2008 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoiresque
I'm currently wrestling with Celiac and oddly enough there is this relatively mainstream memoir about the disease. I really just breezed through it, the writing is pretty abysmal. Also, I can't eat dairy currently and she talks about cheese so often I wanted to smack her. Seems to me that the book is just a bunch of repetitive blog posts strung together and published in hardcover. But there are certain aspects of this story that I can relate too so strongly that I kind of want to give this book ...more
Dec 15, 2008 Lena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I’m not quite sure how to describe Shauna Ahern’s book about living with celiac, a disease in which the body responds to the gluten found in wheat and other common grains with an intestine-damaging immune response. The book part memoir, in that Ahern tells her personal story of life before and after her diagnosis. It is also part how-to guide, as she discusses the basics of the gluten-free diet, where gluten can hide, and how to do things like talk to restaurant servers about what you can and ca ...more
Oct 13, 2008 Marnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shauna wrote this book after she found out she had celiac disease & had to give up gluten. While it was nice to read about how she learned to eat better & treat her body right, she's kind of a food snob & most of her ideas arent very realistic for most people, like no one I know would spend $25 on a bottle of cooking oil or $150 on a kitchen knife, & most of her recipes look like they're really high in fat.I was also surprised to see other allergens like eggs in her recipes, I th ...more
Jun 03, 2011 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I actually would give this book 3.5 stars (why oh why won't goodreads do that????). I know the author did not intend this to be a "how to live gluten-free" book, but given the popularity of her blog and the chosen subtitle (which I know from reading her blog that she had no say over), a reader would expect to have more information provided. That said, she did provide some good information (especially the grains chapter), but I would have liked more information about the different flours and why ...more
Dec 17, 2009 Danna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another niece of mine has been diagnosed with gluten intolerance and was lamenting the fact that she couldn't enjoy her usual favorites at Thanksgiving. I'm her giver in this year's family x-mas gift exchange, so I had the brilliant idea of finding a lovely gluten-free baking book. Instead, I found this little gem! The first chapter really resonated with me, and reminds everyone that what we eat has a direct effect on our physical, mental, and emotional health (seems like a no-brainer, but in ou ...more
Jan 14, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have a visceral dislike of the author's website, so I expected to hate the book with the same name. Shauna's long digressions about food make a lot more sense in a book than they do on a food blog (and a book can't make blatant cash grabs or say nasty things on twitter). I suspect that the benefit of an editor and a medium better suited towards longer stories helped. It was a book about the evolution of Shauna's relationship with food throughout her life, beginning with Lucky Charms and casser ...more
Mar 20, 2009 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've seen this book many times since my daughter's Celiac diagnosis nearly three years ago. I've read reviews of people singing its praises. Maybe it's because I don't have Celiac myself, but I found the book disappointing. It was interesting and while she is an excellent author, I found the book to be very repetitious and it's different sections long-winded. I enjoyed the history of some of the gluten-free grains and appreciated the suggestions she gave; but many of the recipes are just not pra ...more
May 16, 2008 Sher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the author is extremely knowledgeable, and she has a wonderful way with words, although there are times she seems a little condescending. she knows her way around the land of celiacs. of course, it is a lot easier to handle radically changing your entire diet when you're single and fall in love with a chef who essentially converts his restaurant into a gluten-free haven.

seriously. not. bitter. but if you are a parent dealing with kids who must become gluten-free, this is probably not the most he
Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
Shauna James Ahern was diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of 38. This meant that if she ingested any gluten her small intestine would be damaged. She had to completely change her diet – avoiding bread, pasta and processed foods in which gluten could be hiding. Rather than become upset by the food she’d be missing, Shauna took the news positively – looking at it as an opportunity to improve her cooking skills and investigate new recipes.

Gluten-Free Girl isn’t just a book for people who’ve b
Kris Bordessa
Jul 30, 2008 Kris Bordessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written memoir of a woman who discovers she suffers from Celiac Disease. The story was enjoyable, but I was a bit disappointed in the lack of recipes. There are only about 20 included, and many are for items that would naturally be gluten free. Worse? The author mentions a good number of items she's made and enjoyed, but those recipes are not included. I'd recommend it for anyone interested in learning about Celiac's, but as a cookbook.
Feb 02, 2008 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodies, people learning to deal with restrictive diets
I have a hard time reviewing this book. I enjoy Ahern's writing. It can run toward the flowery and sentimental, but it's also lyrical and lovely. Even my most cynical self can't help being inspired by Ahern's passionate love for food, life, and "the chef." The only thing that prevents me from whole-heartedly recommending this book is that much of it is repetitive of Ahern's gluten-free girl blog.
Jan 29, 2008 'helen' rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with food allergies or sensitivities
I recommend this book for 2 purposes: awesome gluten-free recipes & resources; and good stories about lving gluten-free in a white-flour nation.

This is a well-written blog - but doesn't always translate well as a book. It reads best when skimmed or read in small quantities (as you would a blog). As a memoir of sorts, it is a bit self-absorbed and repetitive.
Beautiful, floral writing, but I was disappointed with the content. Much time was spent harping and hating the foods of her childhood and promoting really really expensive ingredients and cooking EVERYTHING from scratch.

All of the recipes can be found on her website... I was hoping for at least half of them to be new.

Apr 08, 2008 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
Wonderfully good book about living within your limitations--and food. Shauna writes about food and love and dealing with chronic illness in a way that makes you envy her former students. It also reminds me that food, with limitations or without, is incredible.
Jan 28, 2008 Danika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like her writing style and she clearly enjoys life and food. Agree with another reviewer, though. She spends WAY too much time slamming the food she grew up on (processed, prepared foods in the 70s). It gets really old.
Jan 14, 2008 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
The first book I've read that was written by a blogger. It shows. But the memoir/ cookbook is pretty cool and has some good recipes and tips and tricks. She's a good writer, but a better blogger.
Feb 05, 2010 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who shouldn't eat wheat and loves food, I found this book slightly boring.
Originally when I was reading this book I started to feel like the author was a bit preachy with her specialty shops and organic oratories, for I too know the benefits of living in the majestic North West, but what I was really reacting to was the knowledge that I, and I alone, have not been taking the necessary steps to take care of my own self with celiacs disease. I do the best that I can with what I have, but knowing that there are other things that I should, or at least could, be doing to t ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had me just from the title. I was walking around the library, saw the cover, and thought, "Hey, that's me." So I picked it up, took it home, and devoured it. I couldn't stop reading it whenever I could. I have neither heard of the author before,Shauna Ahern, nor read her blog. I realize that many people have very passionate feelings about this woman who have had exposure to her in the past, but I found the writing to be incredible.

Just like the author, I have lived my life feeling "off
As someone who has been living gluten-free for 9 years now, I already know the hidden places where gluten lurks, how to mix up a good gluten-free flour blend, and how hard the problem is to diagnose. But this breezy, uplifting and charming memoir contained so much more than "just the facts" about celiac disease. Ahern's reminiscences of the Wonder bread sandwiches, mushroom-soup casseroles and TV dinners of her youth will ring true to anyone who grew up post-1960. While laughing with the author ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010, I was so happy to find Shauna Ahern's blog. There were lots of great recipes for us to try. I really like her blueberry muffin recipe and we made a mac and cheese recipe a few times (before discovering the much cheaper and easier Trader Joe's gluten-free mac and cheese). I've had this book on my to-reads list ever since, but I have stopped following Shauna's blog. The recipes were just too tedious and time-consuming. They involved lots o ...more
Finally I am done with this book! It took me forever. I hesitated between 2 and 3 stars as a review...the writing and much of the content annoyed me, but the recipes look really good, and the information on gluten, celiac/ gluten intolerance, and living a gluten free lifestyle was invaluable. Certain portions of the book were really encouraging to me. I read her experiences learning to eat gluten free, what she felt like when she did eat gluten, etc, and completely identified with them. The reci ...more
Jun 04, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Last week I had a really horrible reaction to some wheat bread that I made. Intense stomach cramps and a really bad hazy headache that lasted all day. I started looking up stuff about wheat allergies and read some stuff on the internet about gluten-free eating. I came across this girl's website and saw that she had some books out so I went to the library to find some of them.

It's a good book, but not one I'd recommend for a stay-at-home mom who has more to do than discover expensive foods and st
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