Must Read Gluten-Free Books

Contributed by Allison Medford-Plesko

Going gluten-free can be extremely overwhelming. Below is a list of books that are helpful, especially when beginning a gluten-free diet. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Going Against the Grain by Melissa Smith
This is the book Dr. Volpe recommends to all his patients who are switching to a gluten-free diet. It is easy to read and extremely informative.

Gluten Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap by Nicole Hunn
Gluten-free food is pricey. This book gives great advice and tips for saving money.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Eating by Eve Adamson
This is a very extensive guide to being gluten-free. It has everything from a week’s worth of menus to a list of foods you can and cannot eat.

The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide

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, 5th Edition (2012) by Triumph Dining
This guide makes shopping easier and a little less overwhelming.

The Essential Gluten Free Restaurant Guide, 5th Edition by Triumph Dining.
This is really good for traveling with kids. It lists restaurants with gluten-free menus by state and city.

Living Gluten Free for Dummies by Danna Korn
Everything is in this one book. It includes tips to help your child transition into the gluten-free lifestyle as well as many more helpful tools.

Cilantro: The Little Plant That Packs a Really Big Punch

contributed by Allison Plesko

 The many benefits of Cilantro include:

  • Helps eliminate from the body heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum from the body
  • Oils contain digestive enzymes assisting with digestion and nausea
  • Anti-Bacterial properties- contains Dodecenal which has been shown to fight salmonella
  • Anti-Inflammatory effects
  • Naturally contains iron, magnesium and dietary fiber
  • Immune boosting properties
  • Raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol
  • Assists with urinary tract infections
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Contains phytonutrients and flavonoids such as Quercetin, which helps the body fight free radicals


Cilantro Pesto


Enough cilantro (not packed down) to fill blender

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 lemons or limes

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, juiced

2-5 cloves garlic, pressed

sea salt to taste

1/2-1 cup walnuts (or preferred nut or seed)

How to make it:

1. Put in blender and process until course.

2. You may have to stop it and push it down with a spatula.

3. Enjoy with gluten free crackers or chips.


Apple-Pear-Cilantro Smoothie


1 small, ripe, organic red apple of your choice

1 small, ripe, organic pear of your choice

2 large handfuls of organic cilantro leaves

1 large handful of organic mixed greens

1-2 teaspoon honey or agave nectar

2 cups pure water (can use coconut water)

1 tablespoon of protein powder- gluten free (Pro Zone Vanilla)

(Optional- honey or agave nectar to taste)

How to Make:

1. Wash and core pear and apple, leaving the peels on them.

2. Wash cilantro well and place all ingredients in a blender.

3. Add protein powder and ice if needed.

4. May add honey or agave to your preferred taste.

5. Blend, pour into a glass and enjoy.

Gluten-free recipes, contributed by Allison Plesko

 1.Carob-Walnut Brownies


1/4 cup melted butter or ghee

6 Tablespoons carob powder

½ cup honey

2 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup quinoa flour (Can substitute other GF flours)

2 teaspoons vanilla [optional]

1 cup chopped walnuts

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Mix the honey, ghee, egg whites salt, and vanilla together.

Add the carob powder.

Mix in the flour and then the walnuts.

Put the mixture into a non-stick 8′ x 8′ pan (or use nonstick spray).

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Read More »

Gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease: new understanding and testing options

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes certain characteristic changes in the lining of the small intestine. The trigger for Celiac Disease is a severe reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat and some other grains. Although there is a blood test for Celiac Disease, it is not always reliable and the standard for diagnosis is an intestinal biopsy to identify the changes that are typical of this illness.

Although Celiac Disease used to be considered rare, there is evidence that the incidence of this serious and sometimes life-threatening illness has been growing. A recent study that compared military records from 50 years ago to current ones concluded that over this time period the incidence of Celiac disease rose from one case in 700 people to one in just one hundred (Gastroenterology

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, 2009 July; 137(1): 88-93). The reasons for this explosion are not entirely clear but there is a probable link to changes in the composition and processing of food, as well as new environmental challenges to the immune system.

Aside from Celiac Disease, people can suffer from different types of sensitivity to gluten that are not associated with the same characteristic intestinal changes. Mainstream medicine does not recognize these other forms of sensitivity to gluten, but many doctors and nutritionists, myself included, strongly believe they exist and are common. Read More »

Gluten-free restaurants in Houston

Contributed by Allison Plesko

As we all know, going gluten-free can be overwhelming, especially with children. To make your life a little easier, listed below are some restaurants featuring gluten-free menus throughout Houston and the surrounding areas.

  • Jason’s Deli
  • Pei Wei
  • PF Chang’s
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Olive Garden
  • Joe’s Crab Shack
  • Ruggles Green- Inner Loop area only
  • Pinks Pizza- Inner Loop area only

**Many of these restaurants have Dairy-Free options as well.

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