Big things are happening with Jennifer Esposito and her company, Jennifer’s Way. Big things for her and just as importantly, big things for the celiac community.
Many of these things are of the “to be announced” variety, but there is one item I do want to share with you.
She has a new book coming out in May called “Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease — What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again”.
Mrs. Dude and I had the privilege of getting an advanced copy and it is simply an amazing read. She writes with passion. She writes with humor. And boy oh boy does she write with honesty.
If you’re looking for a Hollywood tell-all, this ain’t the book for you.
But man if you want to read about someone who has been to celiac hell and back, you’ll want to savor every damn page.
You can pre-order the book on Amazon here.
With Jennifer’s permission, I want to share with you the introduction to the book.
This book is dedicated to every celiac, whether diagnosed or not.
I hope this book gives you some understanding and peace.
I thank this community from the bottom of my heart.
You were the first to help me understand this new world.
Being an actress and in the public eye for almost twenty years, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been in the press for anything other than promoting the project of the moment. If you had told me years ago that I would write a book so openly about my personal life, I would have said you were crazy.
When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, all that changed and I felt almost compelled to tell my story. This disease has taken many twists and turns and has been at the root of many unanswered questions in my life since I was a child. The pain and suffering, not only physical but emotional, is something I wish on no one. If there is one paragraph, even just one sentence in this book that helps you in any way to understand what may be going on in your life with your health, then that is what I set out to do.
I believe there are a few very basic needs for us, as human beings. We want to feel safe, loved, accepted, and heard.
Most if not all people with celiac disease are threatened in a big way. Feeling safe becomes something that doesn’t apply to you anymore. You are not just in the hands of doctors who are often not able to tell you what’s wrong – for most people, an accurate diagnosis takes years – but you are also at the mercy of every meal. Food becomes an enemy that you must keep your eye on at all times.
Feeling loved gets threatened when family, friends, and society don’t really get this disease, or at least not fully, or not yet. That can be very isolating at times, leaving people feeling unloved.
That brings me to acceptance. Everyone wants to feel a part of something. Not being able to conduct your life as everyone else does is not only hard on the social aspect of your life, but on your heart as well.
Finally, that leads me to the last basic human need, and to be honest, this has been the biggest single reason I have opened my life up and related my struggles to you: so you can feel like you can tell your story and be heard. I take you all the way back through my childhood, in the hopes that you will see in my early symptoms to help you understand yours.
I want to show you by example that not all celiac disease symptoms are stomach-related, and some symptoms can seem far-removed from your gut. I take you even further back, showing you that my mother and grandmother had symptoms, too, to show you that celiac disease can be passed along through families for generations, so you can look back at your own family history for clues and validation. When I finally found out I had celiac disease, I realized how far back it went.
My ultimate intention in telling this story is to help you find your voice. I cannot count the number of people who have written to me and come in to my bakery from around the world, just to say thank you for telling my story by telling yours. I want to give a voice and a face to this disease. Many people have been unheard for so long regarding this disease, as I was. Some were told they were crazy, some given a wrong diagnosis, and many are still searching for an answer. This leaves people feeling unheard, and as I say in the first chapter in this book, it is my experience that something happens to you when you go for so long without being heard. Your soul starts to die a little. You stop voicing your opinions and concerns, your gut stops speaking to you, and you become someone who doesn’t believe their words matter.
If I say anything in this book that you hear, please hear this: your voice matters and your symptoms are real and there are people out there who will listen. You can be heard and you will be heard. I am here to tell you that I get it. I hear you.
~ Jennifer Esposito
Interested? You can pre-order the book here. You’ll be glad you did.
26 thoughts on “Jennifer Esposito's New Book: Dedicated to All Celiacs”
Having read JE’s story on her website (and it is similar to mine in many ways), I look forward to reading her book. She is a lovely person and I admire her strength.
I try to make sure I read every book a fellow celiac writes
because even though they are essentially about the same topic, everyone’s struggle is different and they present a unique perspective on how the authors have overcome so much adversity to reclaim their lives.
And they always pay it forward by becoming a vocal celiac advocate.
To me, they are all self- profiles in courage.
IrishHeart, you should write a book. I’d get it. 😀
oh, I think you’re just yanking my chain here a bit, glutenmaestro
She is using her status to do good. Many of us have a similar story but she can give us a voice. I look forward to reading her book.
Thank you for sharing this beautifully written book introduction with us! My Celiac story also has many parallels to Jennifer’s and I am ever grateful for her willingness to share her experiences with us. Reading her blog really helped me when I was newly diagnosed.
I look forward to reading her book when it’s published this spring, and I agree with IH that it’s important for our community to continue to support each other.
Happy spring (almost) to all!
Being heard is so important and almost every story I hear features doctors, families, and communities who did not listen. Looking forward to reading her book.
Thank you for this post. My 14 year old daughter and I loved Jennifer on Blue Bloods! My daughter was just diagnosed with Celiac herself this year, I pre-ordered the book for us both!
Looking forward to reading about your journey.
Jennifer you are making a difference. Someday people will understand this disease and take it seriously. Thank you for increasing public awareness about Celiac Disease!
Yes! I already see a lot that I relate to in the snippet.
And since it comes out a few days before my birthday it’s a nice gift to me from me.
I’m looking forward to reading Jennifer’s book. She is a sweet lady!
Pre-ordered 2 today!
Of course, I need one to read and one as a keepsake autographed by Jen E, my Celiac Hero, when we visit Jennifer’s Way Bakery!
Dude, thanks for sending my regards to Jen E for me and for the link making it so easy to order her book. My daughter found Jen’s tweet for me regarding my prior comments to you. Since I’m not a twitterer or FBer I appreciate you acting as a “Harry Potter owl” for me. I see why this “social media” thing is catching on.
Ya see, you’re not so “Hap” less after all. Yeah…I know 😉
Ha Ha – You & my wife are so Punny! That is one reason I married her so many years ago – her intelligent wit.
“Hap” honors my great caddie who died a couple of years ago. My Dad and I and Hap, his Dad and his Grandad all have the same first name, of which “Hap” is a version. My “original” Hap’s birthday is March 21 so enjoy a Tito on us in his honor!
Hap (the second)
Just to be clear, my reply was not on any level chastising you for the unintentional ‘Hap'”less” double entendre. The original Hap would be the first to laugh & enjoy the irony. We had a lot of fun on the links!
Pre-ordered! Thanks for the link and for all you do. Great community!
I too can’t wait to receive your book! I’m tired of being sick with no answers until my Dr. Asked me to try GF he thinks I’m celiac positive, as I had this test a few years ago and it was positive negative end of the scale that he was telling me that it wasn’t a definitive answer for him. I should try it! We’ll I looked into it and it was so confusing I didn’t do It! Well now I’m almost 62 and very I’ll. So I made the leap and have gone GF and told my Dr. I can’t believe the difference in how much better I now feel!
Thank you for helping and bringing this illness to the attention of those who are in need! Quincy, Massachucetts
Definitely on my list. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait for the other announcements to come!!
You’re not ripping us off now Gluten Dude, are you? lol jks 😉
I had my younger brother home on a rare visit. I may have mentioned he has celiac as well and is developmentally disabled… And awesome.
So we took a trip into Manhattan today to visit Jennifer’s Way and get some cupcakes. I was hoping the book would be here before I went so I could maybe ask Jennifer to sign it, but no dice.
Jennifer was there and she is really sweet, and the staff is very nice. The cupcakes are so good, I thought it was an elaborate hoax to get me to eat gluten. Seriously, these are cupcakes that I would have raved over pre-celiac. My brother pretty much inhaled his. The cookies are delicious as well. I will give my verdict on the onion bagel in the morning, but they smell amazing.
I drove my brother home to Eastern LI (after a movie pit stop for Captain America) and just got home.
Guess what’s in the mailbox…
Your younger brother’s older brother is pretty awesome, too.
Murphys’ law –that book showing up AFTER you were in the city.
Like the time I was in NYC, took the subway, walked a zillion blocks in the August heat only to find: She’s closed on Tuesdays.
My bad. 🙁 DUH! Should have checked the schedule. I was pretty pathetic sitting on the curb,whining and sniveling like a 3- year -old “but I wanted cu—u-p–cakes!!!waaa!” The hubs stood across the street so as to distance himself from the distraught woman throwing a tantrum. Puts me in a cab and we went to Freidman’s lunch instead. Good food, yes but “I wanted to see Jen-ni-fer! waaa!” Big baby.
Okay, so my book also arrived yesterday.
I read it in less than 2 hours.
Compelling story of what so many celiacs have dealt with–the long, hard road to diagnosis. the long road to recovery.
But healing happens.
As I said, her story is one of courage and triumph. And now, maybe people will “get it” a little better.
Aw shucks. Thanks Irish. And thank you also for reminding me that I am only a subway ride away, whole others may have a but further to go. I’m sorry you didn’t get the cupcakes!
I need to get to Friedman’s too.
I have the whole afternoon off, so it will be spent reading.
Just finished Jennifer Esposito’s book “Jennifer’s Way” – WOW! I strongly encourage this wonderful community to read this book – I felt like I was coming home. Thoughtful, well organized, a packed tool kit to help us all, even if diagnosed some time ago. I wrote my very first Amazon review of this book (worth going public for) and plan to donate my copy to the public library so more people get a chance to read it. And again…. WOW!
Gluten Dude. Hi. I was reading a forum about what magazines are best for gluten free. In reading the comments, most said to read gluten dude’s blog. My 9yr old son was diagnosed with celiac less than a week ago. I have been tirelessly searching info and answers since then. I have looked at your blog shortly. I have also seen Jennifer’s bucket list video from your site. I wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Due to her mental illness, my son can not spend time with his mother. I have full custody of my son. Within the last year, he has lost his relationship with his mother, and now been diagnosed with Celiac disease. To a child, losing the ability to eat the foods that he wants is a big deal. I’m a terrible cook and feel a lot of stress about what I need to do to help my son. After looking at this site and watching Jennifer’s bucket list video, it gives me something that I have been missing for a little while. Hope. It is easy to think that you are in this alone, and it is sites like this that help me to realize that there are others who truly do care and do this to help others like me. Going at this as a single parent with no cooking skills is daunting, but I find courage and inspiration when I see sites like this. I do not have access to leave anything for Jennifer, so if you have the capability, please pass this along. If not, I understand. I just wanted to say from the bottom of my heart, as a single father, that your site and Jennifer’s openness is helping me to learn more and do what I can to help my son. Thank you.
Hi James. Thanks tons for the kind message. I passed it along to Jennifer this morning.
Your son is in good hands. But please…if you have any questions or need any kind of advice, contact me privately and I will be happy to help.
Hi. Thanks again for your site and kind words. I just received a care package from Jennifer. I can’t believe the amount of concern and consideration I have received. I’m truly grateful. I wanted to pass this along from another person from Jennifer’s way facebook page who replied:
Dave, Thanks. I will definitely msg you. I’ve been up what seems like days now trying to study about this as much as possible for my son’s sake and I think I’ve ran myself into the ground. I need sleep, but will msg and send friend request prob. tomorrow. Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
Like · 1 · 21 hrs
Dave Denham No probs…..I didn’t mention my son is NOT gluten allergic, but any help I can give, u welcome
Like · 18 hrs
Dave Denham Pls fwd above to gluten dude
Still getting used to this, so if there is any info you need from facebook on his info, just let me know. He is a nice person to offer to help me with figuring out how to cook. Thanks again for all that you do.
James A. Hall