Going Gluten-Free


Today we have a Q&A with Jules Dowler Shepard, a noted author and nationally recognized celiac patient-expert. Her just-released third book, Free For All Cooking, already is enjoying strong sales and glowing reviews.

Jules also developed and sells a patent-pending gluten-free flour, Jules Gluten-Free™ All Purpose Flour, that nearly identically mimics white wheat flour, allowing people eating gluten free to continue to enjoy their favorite recipes.

MJR:
Was there an inciting circumstance or incident that caused you to go gluten-free?

Jules:

I became ill while I was in college and just never got better. After 10 years of bouncing from doctor to doctor (they really didn’t know what what was wrong with me), I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease and told that I had to religiously avoid gluten from then on.

MJR:
What’s the one food product you can’t live without?

Jules:
My flour! It makes everything possible again, just gluten-free.

MJR:
What are some positive changes you’ve noticed, in your health or otherwise, that occurred since you started your diet?

Jules:
Oh goodness, I began to feel better in every way very soon after going completely gluten-free. Less stomach pain, fewer headaches, I even had more energy. I didn’t feel all the way better though, until I learned that I was also lactose intolerant and I removed dairy from my diet as well. Now I’m all better!

MJR:
What type of situation (e.g. social, survival) would cause you to cheat on your diet? When?

Jules:
I would never cheat for social reasons. Initially, soon after my diagnosis with celiac disease, I didn’t totally understand the auto-immunity piece to the disease and just thought I could suffer through the symptoms if I chose to cheat.

However, when I learned what was really going on in my body with celiac disease, I could never justify “cheating” by eating gluten again. Nothing would be worth that. Because of the nature of the celiac reaction to gluten exposure, there would be no reason for me to cheat for survival either, since my body wouldn’t be absorbing much nutrition from any food after eating gluten.

MJR:
It’s your last day on Earth and you can eat anything you want for your final meal… what would it be?

Jules:

Drunken Noodles with yeast rolls and key lime pie for dessert!

MJR:
Do you think this is a diet that everyone in the world needs to adopt or are we better off with only a portion of the population following it?

Jules:
I would never say everyone in the world needs to follow any particular diet – one size does not fit all peoples’ physiologies. However, there are a whole lot of people out there who would find they felt better on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet once they tried it.

This diet is medically necessitated for people with celiac disease; however, recent estimates predict that 6-9% of the population suffers from gluten sensitivity and would therefore also benefit from a gluten-free diet. Pair that with the fact that the majority of the adult population is lactose intolerant, and there are indeed lots of folks who would feel better on this diet.

MJR:
If you could make everyone do just one thing that would advance the Gluten-free cause, what would that thing be?

Jules:
I think everyone needs to try something truly yummy that is made gluten-free so that the myth that gluten-free foods taste bad is no longer perpetuated. So many people are afraid to get tested for celiac disease (even if it runs in their family) simply because they think they will have to give up their favorite social activities, foods and fun.

It’s simply not so anymore. If anyone buys something gluten-free that doesn’t taste good, I tell them to take it back or make it themselves at home because it doesn’t have to be that way. All of my gluten-free food is delicious, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

MJR:
What is your favorite Earth Balance product to use, and in what recipe?

Jules:
Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks is my favorite product, because there is absolutely nothing else out there that tastes like butter, is gluten, lactose and dairy-free (and vegan!) and has no hydrogenated oils or transfats … and it works in all my recipes calling for butter! Just like my flour, I’m not compromising on anything when I use EB Buttery Sticks.

Picking just one recipe would be hard, but I guess I’d say my gluten-free birthday cake recipe, since it’s one of my all-time favorites! EB Buttery Sticks make that recipe divine!

Thanks Jules! Are you gluten-free? Tell us about it here and you can win a coupon for free Earth Balance!

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9 Responses to “Going Gluten-Free”

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  1. I use Earth Balance for my baking because I have Celiac Disease and need a product that is gluten-free and lactose-free.

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  2. We started going gluten free because our oldest son has an intolerance to Gluten as do I. We use Earth Balance because 4 out of the 5 people in our house has a lactose intolerance (this includes my 1 1/2mon EBF baby girl).

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  3. My husband is gluten-free, so I am at home. Many people think that it would be really hard to be vegan and gluten-free, but when you NEED to be, it’s really quite easy

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  4. My son was just diagnosed so we are all now gluten free. It is turning out to be quite the adventure.

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  5. I think it would be really hard to be gluten free and vegan. Kudos to anyone who can (or must) do it.

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  6. Claire Abel says:

    We feel so much better being Gluten free I would never go back!

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  7. Wonder Woman says:

    Growing up, we were gluten free in our house because my Dad had celiac. Now one of my children is allergic to wheat, as well as milk, eggs, and fish. It is easier to cook and bake gluten free to guarantee that there isn’t cross-contamination in products. Besides, I’m familiar with it.

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  8. Tina G says:

    I was so ill and went through so many doctors. Even being told it was all in my head. That was so wrong and finally I made a connection with the greatest doctor in Houston. While I ended up in the hospital he ran the tests and informed me I was off the testing charts full blown Celiac. I use Jules GF flour and my family NOW prefers my GF baked goods to “regular flour” baked goods. I have heard so much about Earth Balance so that is next on my list.

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  9. AMIE VALPONE says:

    Great interview, Jules! You are fabulous. Keep up the great gluten-free n’ dairy-free work!

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