I recently attended a presentation by Australian author Kim McCosker on her new book, "4 Ingredients Gluten-Free" (co-authored by Rachel Bermingham). The delightful presentation was held in New Jersey’s Barnegat Public Library where the attendees were not only treated to Kim’s entertaining stories, but also tasty samplings of food made from the recipes in her book.
I was drawn to the presentation because many of the children that I treat in Early Intervention are on gluten-free diets and I wanted more information on the subject. Although some research suggests that a gluten-free diet is not a remedy for developmental disorders like attention deficit or autism, many parents vehemently disagree. Gluten-free diets are not only about easing the symptoms of developmental disorders, however. Eliminating gluten from your diet can reap you all sorts of benefits, some of which are listed here and here.
If you are wondering what gluten is, simply put, gluten is a composite protein of wheat, barley and rye. (You can find a more in-depth definition here.) Gluten is found naturally in the environment. It is also used as a thickener, binder, flavor enhancer and protein supplement and as a result it is found in food that you would not otherwise expect to find wheat, barley or rye. (As an example, Walmart’s Great Value brand of salsa contains wheat, whereas Paul Newman’s organic brand does not.) Some people have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten and symptoms can range from subtle (indigestion) to overt (Celiac Disease , Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Additional information on wheat and gluten sensitivities and allergies can be found here.
I purchased Kim’s book and look forward to trying out her recipes when I start a gluten-free diet in April. I have never been tested for gluten sensitivity. (I do not see the point as the tests can be inaccurate and misleading.) I am curious, however, and want to experience first-hand the benefits of a gluten-free diet.