Celiac Books and a Toolkit

Celiac Awareness Month is already halfway over, which seems mind boggling to me, as I feel like May just began. Since May started we’ve celebrated family birthdays, a First Communion, Mother’s Day, and I ran as part of a 200 mile relay from just south of Boston to Cape Cod. I’ve also worked similar hours to when I was in my medical training.  I am ready for things to slow down a little and cannot wait for summer to arrive to spend more time with my kids, travel, go to the beach, etc.

During this past month I have also come across a few resources and books that I thought might be helpful to some of you.

The first is the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness 2014 Celiac Awareness Month Toolkit.

Microsoft Word - CAM Toolkit 2014

It is full of helpful information that you can share with others including celiac fact sheets, recipes, profiles, blogs and webpages to follow, etc. It also includes information cards to give to relatives who need to be tested and screened for celiac disease. I am planning on sharing it with some of my family members who have finally decided to be tested. You can download the free toolkit PDF here.

The 2nd is the book “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers.


This is an excellent resource for teaching children about celiac disease, what gluten actually is, that some patients with celiac disease may have different symptoms than others, and that there are tons of delicious gluten-free foods that kids with celiac disease can eat after diagnosis.  My favorite quote is near the end of the book: “So, remember to think positive and look at the sunny side of Celiac.  Other than some food, everything else about your life will be just like other kids.”  I need to remind myself of this all of the time! Thank you, Katie, for sending me a free copy of your book to review. My children and I have read it many times and it couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time for us.

The 3rd is Jennifer Esposito’s new book “Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease—What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again.”


In the first part of her book Jennifer tells the story of her lifelong battle with undiagnosed celiac disease. Like Jennifer I had a 20+ year delay in diagnosis, and I was able to relate to many of her experiences. The second part of the book discusses the medical and practical aspects of celiac disease diagnosis. I found chapter 17, titled “After diagnosis: what next?” to be an excellent resource for the newly diagnosed.  The last section has some great recipes that I am looking forward to trying, including one for spaghetti squash, kale, and tomato, and one for apple ginger breakfast bars.  Jennifer provides inspiration and hope for those of us who have been diagnosed. She also opened a 100% gluten free bakery in New York City last year called Jennifer’s Way, which I look forward to checking out this summer.

Have any of you discovered any new Celiac books or resources recently? If so, please share, as I am always looking for suggestions for books to read, web pages to check out, etc.

I am also still seeking recommendations for gluten-free bakeries in the Cleveland, OH area for my bakery-deprived kids. The last time I was in a bakery in Cleveland it was a gluten-filled one prior to my diagnosis.

Thank you and happy (almost) summer! There will be more on the Celiaction Study later this week…the latest update I received is that they will be recruiting subjects until well into June or July.

10 thoughts on “Celiac Books and a Toolkit

  1. BadgerChris

    My two favorite books so far:

    Gluten Freedom by Alessio Fasano, MD.

    Real Life With Celiac Disease by Daniel Leffler, MD and Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN.

    I’m only about halfway into Jennifer Esposito’s book, but I’m really enjoying it. A lot of her experiences sure match my own, although I only took about 5 years to be diagnosed after I started having clear symptoms.

    1. Jess Post author

      Hi Chris,
      I loved Gluten Freedom and just read it last month when it came out. I have been recommending it to everyone who has any issues with gluten. Leffler and Dennis’ book it also a great one. Thank you for sharing it. I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Leffler by phone a few months ago when I was doing research for an article and he had such compassion for all of us with celiac disease.

  2. Vik

    Jess thank you for these resources, plus, of course yours. One e-letter that I like is Jane Anderson’s About.com Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity newsletter. You can sign up to get regular email updates, which come regularly. http://celiacdisease.about.com. Jane is a journalist who has celiac, and is meticulous about researching products and everything else celiac. She also discusses GF lifestyle and updates in treatments.

    And, you know how we sometimes get bogged down in all this serious celiac stuff? So for me, it is fun to read something random like this collection of humorously ironic cartoons, called Howard the Celeriac. They are produced by a UK celiac, about the foibles of navigating the lifestyle. http://www.celeriacs.co.uk Go to the archive section and read from the bottom (the oldest ones) up. You will find yourself going, yep, yep, this happened to me. Two of my favorites cartoons: http://www.howardtheceleriac.com/comics/what-is-a-celeriac and http://www.howardtheceleriac.com/comics/do-you-remember-being-diagnosed

    1. Jess Post author

      Hi Vik,
      Thank you for introducing me to Howard the Celeriac. I have no idea how I haven’t came across him yet, but I haven’t until now. I am looking forward to checking out his archives.
      I have a lot of respect for Jane and I agree that her articles are well-researched and up to date. I was not aware that I could subscribe to her newsletter, so thanks also for that suggestion too.
      Have you given any thought to starting your own blog?

        1. Vik

          Hey goils, thx for your vote o’ confidence. Blogging has flickered across my mind from time to time, then I immediately feel lazy/overwhelmed/not to mention whatthehell would I write about. I love both of your blogs!

  3. Molly (Sprue Story)

    I enjoyed the toolkit, too. I haven’t read Jennifer’s Way yet but am definitely planning to get to it. I read Gluten Freedom recently and thought it was very well done. I’ve also been tearing through several books about doctor/patient interaction (What Doctors Feel, How Doctors Think, and looking for my next one yet). Really, really interesting and definitely recommended. I plan to do a review roundup of my own soon!

    1. Jess Post author

      Hi Molly,
      I am intrigued to read a book or 2 about how doctors think, as I’d be curious to see if I think like one or not.
      I am looking forward to reading your reviews too. It seems like the GF genre has exploded over the last few years. It would be cool if we all lived near each other (me, you, Vik, etc) to do a quarterly GF bookclub.

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