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Let me start by saying that I am not the easiest eater.  My food allergic son’s also selective about what he eats.   I have a gluten sensitivity and I generally don’t have any interest in bread, cheese and milk.  I also try to avoid red meat.  We buy mostly organic and enjoy drinking fresh orange or green juice.  I cook with coconut and olive oils.  So because I do the majority of the grocery shopping and cooking in my house, my family ends up eating similarly.   Will my husband eat regular frozen pizza and milk?  Does my son eat cookies and occasional treats?  Obviously.  Will I have a meltdown if they do?  Of course not!

Earlier this year, I received Chef Alain Braux’s new cookbook, Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Food.  It has become my “go to” in such a short period of time.  It’s a fantastic book for anyone who has  food allergies, gluten intolerance or celiac disease, or for someone looking to understand and educate themselves around whether they may have one of these conditions.  The book is written by a phenomenal French chef, who shares with his readers how to enjoy cooking and eating regardless of their dietary restrictions.  His mission in this book is clear: to ensure that his readers understand that a special diet does not mean they should ever feel restricted from enjoying delicious meals.

Chef Alain Braux’s writing style comes across as genuine and full of personality, making the non-recipe portions of the book a pleasure to read.  Sensitive to gluten himself, he can easily relate to his readers, understand their dietary restrictions and associated struggles, and ultimately help better their daily eating experience.

The book begins by discussing Gluten and Dairy dietary restrictions and how these intolerances or sensitivities become apparent, and tapping in to personal accounts of various people regarding their own personal experiences with food intolerances, allergies and sensitivities.  He carefully touches upon what people with such dietary situations might experience including behavioral problems, feeling ill and bloated, and addresses the issue around the problems with self-diagnosis versus having a specialist examine one’s situation.  Braux also ensures that his readers have a thorough understanding of each condition, what it means, and what potential causes are.  He takes a responsible approach in giving all of the necessary background information that a reader needs to make a smart decision in whether or not they should seek medical attention to validate or disprove their dietary condition concerns.

Braux gives recommendations throughout the book that teach readers how to live with their dietary restrictions including how to organize their kitchens, what key ingredients to stock up on, and how to tweak their favourite recipes to meet their dietary needs.  Furthermore, he explores lifestyle tricks to help readers when eating outside of the home and grocery shopping.

Lastly, of course, the book outlines all sorts of delicious foods and recipes that readers can prepare that fall within the guidelines of their dietary restrictions.  There is an extremely wide assortment of tasty options from sweets to meats that would satisfy any craving one might have.  As you can imagine, being a French chef, Braux has significant expertise in preparing fine foods and shares decadent yet practical recipes for creating culinary delights.  I was born and raised in New Orleans, so I was excited to see French cuisine recipes specifically for people with food allergies.

This book literally teaches its readers everything that they need to know to live and eat happily with a gluten and dairy-free diet.  From how to understand their condition, to lifestyle changes, to cooking amazing meals, this is an extremely comprehensive guide for anyone looking to live better with their dietary restriction or even just educate themselves better around whether or not they may have one in the first place.

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