Vanessa is also the author of two gluten-free cookbooks: Beyond Rice Cakes: A Young Person's Guide to Cooking, Eating & Living Gluten-Free was released in September 2006 and her second book is The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook: Spicing Up Life with Italian, Asian and Mexican Recipes (Wiley) was released in April 2010.
Vanessa has appeared on numerous television shows as a gluten-free food and celiac disease expert including Planet Green’s Emeril Green, CNBC’s On the Money and CNN’s Newsroom with Heidi Collins. She has been interviewed and quoted in U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Washington Woman, Supermarket News, Publix Greenwise Magazine and numerous other local newspapers.
Just a few short years ago, Jen was ill with a multitude of issues (although not typical “Celiac” symptoms), including high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, sudden weight gain [over 60 pounds], Hashimoto’s, and arthritis (read more of her story here). After more than seven frustrating visits with various doctors, she finally learned about her gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. In becoming well, she found that life without gluten was really great from a health perspective, but affected everything else that had a social factor.
In the time since her diagnosis, Jen has spent a lot of time learning. She was treated by Dr. Glen Aukerman (author: Better Health in 120 days) and attended all of his classes to understand the medical aspect of how various foods affect gluten sensitivity. After further health issues inspired her to do more research, Jen went completely grain and soy free in 2012, and became a certified coach under the direction of Gluten Free Society. She uses her own health journey to coach and inspire others to consider dietary changes as a way to achieve optimum health. In 2013 she established a support group, and found that food availability continued to be the biggest barrier to success. She began developing food products that support a grain-free, soy-free and even dairy-free lifestyle; many items are allergy-friendly and are free of refined sugars. She also offers allergen-free Communion to churches, raising awareness about the effects of gluten exposure.