Blogger and former nurse Widick and creative consultant Alden offer a debut self-help book with recipes for readers who want to go gluten-free.
Although celiac disease is now a well-known phenomenon, there was a time, not long ago, when many people suffering from gluten intolerance were misdiagnosed. Widick should know; it was an agonizing 15 years before she found out what ailed her. The focus of this book is to dispel readers’ fears of changing their diet—whether they have celiac disease or not—and it aims to make the transition to healthier choices as smooth and easy as possible. This isn’t, however, a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, the book celebrates individual needs and tastes: “Wellness is a dynamic, individual, ever-changing, fluctuating process. We should aim to strive for a personal harmony that feels most authentic to us.” Everything in the book is designed to get readers thinking about steps that they can immediately take on a journey to better health. To facilitate this process, the authors suggest journaling ideas and offer mental exercises to foster inspiration. Because any life-changing decision requires a plan, the authors model their strategies after classic aviation principles. As such, readers are urged to create an individual “flight plan” by progressing through metaphorically titled chapters, including “Flight Route,” “Timeline,” and “Fuel Calculation,” among others. Overall, this collaboration brings a fresh approach to the gluten-free movement. Throughout the book, the prose style is engaging, not preachy, and Widick intersperses the text with her own poems. Alden, meanwhile, brings her eye for design to the colorful photo illustrations, which add a welcoming element to the recipes, such as a “strawberry spring mix salad with flaked crab.” An image of a plate of “artichoke hearts with bacon parm crisp,” for example, is mouthwatering. The “shrimp tacos with chili-lime mayo,” meanwhile, appears to be ideal for a summer dinner party or a satisfying weeknight meal.
An upbeat, approachable culinary guide.