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Don't Rush Me


The Glutenator strikes and Dinner Divas


Healthy eatin' starts here?



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September 01, 2010 - Every so often a book gets mailed to me at the office. Writers, publishers, agents all seeking the same thing . . . publicity for some literary work. Usually I read the first few pages, close the book, put it on a shelf and forget about it.

Sometimes it's a local author and I'll read it and promote it. Sometimes a book, or the topic just piques my interest and you get to read about it. Such is the case when I got "Living Gluten-Free For Dummies," a few weeks back.

Understand, up until last year I never heard of gluten-free anything. Furthermore, I'd be lying if I told you I even knew or cared what a gluten was.

But then one of our weekly newspapers did a story on a local family, the Lohmeiers, who were going gluten-free because mom (Beth) and two daughters (Oliva and Emma) were all diagnosed with celiac disease. (Which is another thing I had never heard of -- I know, for a journalist I pretty much live under a rock, in the middle of the desert.)

They formed the Dinner Divas Gluten-Free Cooking Club.

As time progressed and last year turned into this year, I learned someone I had know for over 20 years had celiac disease. And, I learned a little more of gluten-less living. Now, everywhere I go, it seems the celiac-gluten-free connection is there. Go to the grocery store and there are gluten-free sections, and selections. Some stores even have gluten-free handouts at the service desk, telling folks what gluten-free products they sell.

Is this another case of Don, the-ever-observant-reporter-type, failing to observe? Or is this a new thing? Were these glutenless things really always there? I don't know, but I digress.

So, I got this book in the mail, "Living Gluten-Free For Dummies," by the self-proclaimed "Glutenator" Danna Korn, and started to thumb through it. I had a hunch I'd like the writing style -- any chick who is down-to-earth-enough to forego petite, feminine-like nicknames to have fun and call herself the Glutenator, has to have that certain flair for writing I like.

She does . . . and she even makes up words on the fly to go with whatever she is writing. (Agal after my own heart -- I am in love.)

One of the things I like about the "For Dummies" books, is they are easy-to-read resources. I like having an index in back to find what page to turn to and I liked it even more with this book.

The book is your basic A-Z gluten free resource. There are chapters on celieac disease, autism and behavioral disorder; understanding a gluten-free diet; a point system designed to figure out whether or not you should eat at a restaurant. There are shopping guides, cooking tips, recipes, meals for breakfast, appetizers, soups, entrees, desserts, ethnic foods and pizza. One chapter, Chapter 19, Raising Happy, Healthy, Gluten-Free Kids, I thought was really informative -- even though my kids don't have an allergy to things with gluten in 'em.

* * *

When I got "Living Gluten-Free For Dummies" I contacted Beth Lohmeir to see if her group still meets. The answer is, "The Dinner Divas still get together. In fact, we just had a gluten free family picnic that was a big success. Everyone there could eat everything without fear. You should have seen the kids faces while they were deciding which dessert to start with!"

Beth says they meet once every month or so, but contact regularly via email. Their next meeting is sometime this month. Beth also thought it'd be nice to list a few restaurants with gluten-free stuff. One I know of is the Italian place on M-15 in Ortonville, Mama Maria's. They make a good gluten-free pizza. She suggested Wing Lauks in Waterford, 'Wiches in Oxford, and The Wood Shop in Clarkston. To contact Beth about the Divas, email her, bethlohmeier@hotmail.com

Beth also put me in contact with Dr. Glykeria Zguris of Troy. Dr. Z has celiac disease and also likes to do research. She has come up with a few interesting factoids to share.

Says she . . .

. . . there is an app for Droid phone users called Gluten Free Recipes . . .

. . . the largest collection of gluten-free recipes on the internet is www.glutenfreeda.com/index.asp

. . . Amazon.com is a great resource to order gluten-free foods in bulk or not easily found in local grocery stores . . .

. . . Some cosmetics contain gluten in them. A handy website useful to look up the safety of cosmetics is www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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