Shauna James Ahern, Cookbook Author

American book cover

Tell me about “Gluten-Free Girl American Classics Reinvented.”

Shauna: It’s the 4th book my husband, Daniel and I have written together. The whole book is reader enforced: meaning hundreds of people wrote to us and said, “I’m from the south and I really miss coconut layered cake, cherry pie or whatever..” The book is very regional and offers wonderful stuff, that’s delicious and makes people feel included.

What are some of your favorite recipes?

Shauna:  I love the fried chicken on the cover of the book.

Why did you feel like this book was important?

Shauna: Most people think, what the heck is gluten in the first place? I get a lot of emails asking “is chocolate gluten-free” or “are eggs gluten free?” And, because we’re not well educated on food or where it comes from in this culture, we wanted to be able to help people, which is one of the reasons we wrote the book.

Did you feel like you were missing out when you were diagnosed with Celiac Disease?

Shauna: It was actually the opposite. By the time I was diagnosed in 2005, I had been so sick, I thought I was dying. When I found out it was Celiac, and all I had to do was not eat gluten again, I thought—Hallelujah!

How did that affect your diet?

Shauna: I said “yes” to everything I could eat rather than focusing on what I couldn’t eat.

What are some symptoms of Celiac Disease?

Shauna: Anything from intestinal, migraines, infertility issues to skin rashes. There are over 300 hundred symptoms– it’s very hard to diagnose.

Nowadays, supermarkets are populated with gluten-free items even dedicated aisles. Are all gluten-free products healthy?

Shauna: No. Gluten-free folks are lucky enough to be able to choose from some pretty “bad’ junk foods like everyone else now.

What advice would you offer to those who want to go gluten-free?

Shauna: Go to your doctor! It’s not a weight-loss diet and just because it’s on the shelf does not mean it’s good for you.

How is celiac or gluten sensitivity tested?

Shauna: It is a simple blood test.

What is the best restaurant tip you can offer people who love to eat out?

Shauna: Tell the waiter immediately that you are gluten-free and ask what he or she recommends.

With back-to-school in full throttle, do you have any suggestions for healthy snacks?

Shauna: Forget about the sandwich for lunch. Ask your kids what they love—could be red peppers and hummus. Make a list and come up with 4 or 5 interesting bites.

What do you think people will takeaway from “Gluten-Free Girl American Classics Reinvented?”

Shauna: I think people will discover stuff they have never thought of before.

shauna and daniel

 

“Gluten-Free Girl American Classics Reinvented”… in store NOW!

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