Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Friday Favorite: “Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food” by Sam Mogannam & Dabney Gough

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

This week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe is presented to one of the all-time best books I’ve ever received. Although let me mention…  this is not one of those book that you read like a novel. Instead it is one of those “keeper books” that become dog-eared, flipped through, perused, referenced and depended upon for years and years to come. This is one of those books that become a permanent fixture on your kitchen counter.

This book is a sort of chronicle of each and every department, from the grocery aisles to the wine section, of one of the most popular, fan-based and followed supermarkets in the country, Bi-Rite Markets.

The book is co-written by Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough.  A team that produces the perfect combination of Sam’s food-entrepreneurial brilliance blended with Dabney’s foodie-genius culinary mastermind.

This book takes you through each department of a grocery store, aisle-by-aisle, answering the questions that we all wonder at some point or another: Q: How do I pick the sweetest peaches? A: The dark spot on fruit are areas of concentrated sugars – not a bruise!; Q: Tips for cooking any meat? A: Some pointers are to let the meat come to room temperature and season well with salt & pepper just before cooking, and lubricate your cooking surface with a neutral oil, like grapeseed oil.

Also, included in this cookbook is close to 100 recipes, many of them dishes that are featured in Bi-Rite’s in-house kitchen. I found that many of these recipes are gluten-free and allergen-free (or can be easily modified to be so). Some of my favorites? Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pistachios and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette; or the Apple, Pear Spinach Salad with Walnuts & Blue Cheese. All delicious.

This book is a keeper. Paging through it gets you excited about shopping, the food you eat, and cooking. It gets you wishing you had a neighborhood market owned by a guy like Sam, and a BFF (Best-Friend Foodie) like Dabney. Cheers to the two of you and a job well done!

All these reasons are why this week’s Favorite Friday goes to “Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food”. (Note: Want to get this book for yourself ? Or how about for a perfect gift idea? A hard-cover book for less than $20… Bonus!) Check out this link here on and take advantage of the Super-Saver FREE Shipping!  “Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food” by Sam Mogannam & Dabney Gough

WIN-It-Wednesday: “Food Cures” by Joy Bauer (The Nutrition Expert for the Today Show!)

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

When I saw the bold-lettered name of Joy Bauer’s New York Times Bestseller I shook my head in total agreement.


And nobody knows better than a celiac that food is powerful. Food can make all well.

And food most definitely can cure.

I’ve always been a fan of Joy Bauer, the nutrition expert on the Today Show. Her upbeat ways and good solid layman-termed nutritional advice make her one of my early morning TV favorites. So when she came out with her new book, Food Cures, I was thrilled to check it out and dig right into more of her common sense nutritional advice…. especially the whole section devoted to celiac disease.

Joy’s easily approachable & implementable realistic advice is apparent in the first few pages of her Food Cures book. Her way of looking at eating  – whether it be eating gluten-free because you have celiac disease; eating sugar-free due to diabetes; or just eating healthier in order to feel and look your best – is simple and straightforward. Some basic tips she gives are to limit the word “diet” in your vocabulary, have faith in yourself, keep food in perspective (I agree! Is it really the end of the world that there are no gluten-free desserts on a menu?) and the best advice I think anyone can give… prepare to feel fabulous (words most celiacs understand oh so very well!)

As well as having a whole chapter just designated to celiac disease, Food Cures also has sections that I read beginning-to-end on losing weight, having beautiful skin, healthy hair and a beautiful smile.  Also, in the book are chapters regarding other ailments that can be “cured” by diet including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, migraine headaches, and more.

I also like the way each chapter is segmented with addressing a 4-Step Program to get you going and keep you on track regarding the different health concerns. The chapter on celiac disease explains in great detail the facts & basics about celiac disease, and then includes grocery lists, meal plans and recipes.

All in all Food Cures is a fantastic reference book, but also an easy read to learn more about the power of food, and fueling your body in a healthy, but realistic way.

All these reasons are why I am thrilled that the team over at is sponsoring the next two weeks WIN-It-Wednesday’s on

Two LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will each win a copy of Food Cures. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winners will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, September 28 and Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog (make sure you are a BeFreeForMe member if you want to win) and let us know a common sense piece of advice when it comes to eating gluten-free, allergen-free, healthy, fat-free, etc… (Me? Plan ahead! Planning keeps the stress level down and the health level of the foods I am eating up!)

Good luck, remember food CAN cure, and… as always…

Be Free!

NOTE: Want to order your own copy of Food Cures? Click on this link to purchase on Joy Bauer’s Food Cures: Eat Right to Get Healthier, Look Younger, and Add Years to Your Life

WIN-It-Wednesday: “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Understanding celiac disease is tough enough for adults, never mind for children.

Coming to grips that you can’t ever again eat the bread, pizza and beer that you’ve known, and loved, all your life takes a lot for an adult to accept and embrace. But thankfully, most adults realize that the gluten-free lifestyle is not the end of the world. In fact I, and many others, have discovered living the celiac lifestyle is actually a way to look at the sunny side of life.

But how can you explain eating gluten-free and celiac disease to a child whose whole world is centered around pizza parties at school, a best-friends birthday party, or favorite foods that include chicken nuggets and onion rings? How can a child look at the sunny side of being gluten-free?

Enter the book: “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers.

This one-of-a-kind book is gracefully & eloquently written by a Mom who has celiac disease. Both the author, Katie Chalmers and her daughter, Morgan, were diagnosed with celiac disease a little over 2 years ago. Since that time they have learned to embrace, and make the best, out of living gluten-free.

The book encompasses what celiac disease and the gluten free diet entail in language that children can understand, all the while encouraging dialogue for additional questions. A must-have for any child with celiac disease, this book is also a must-read for any elementary school story hour that has child with celiac disease in the classroom.

I like that  “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” empathizes the positive, rather than the negative, attributes of a gluten-free diet. However, in no way does this book sugar-coat this disease. Instead “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” puts a positive spin on a serious subject that many children may find difficult to understand and accept.

All these reasons are why I am so very excited that “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers is this week’s WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor on

Five (yes 5!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will receive a copy of the book.

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and let us know how you look at the sunny side of being gluten-free. (Me? Reading labels because of my celiac diagnosis has made me more conscious & aware of the ingredients in the foods I eat, which has resulted in me and my family eating a lot healthier across the board!)

All entries must be received by Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 12 midnight EST.

Good luck, Keep the sunny side up… and as always,

Be Free!

P.S. Want to learn more? Follow Katie on Facebook and find out more, as well as purchase, her book on her website.

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