Food blogger and author of the New York Times best-selling cookbooks, Against All Grain (21 month bestseller), Meals Made Simple and Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion (Sept. 2016), Danielle Walker (www.againstallgrain.com) is the new face of grain-free cooking. A self-trained chef, Danielle tempts a range of appetites with her innovative, accessible Paleo-influenced recipes that are not only healthy and delicious, but are also credited for saving her life. Paying homage to the dishes she loved from her pre-Paleo days, she imaginatively recreates all of her favorites without grains, gluten and most times, dairy.
A Diagnosis and Decision
For months, Danielle suffered from drastic weight loss, joint pain and malnutrition. After countless doctor visits, she was diagnosed with a severe form of Ulcerative Colitis at age 22, just two months after getting married. Despite her expansive array of medications and prednisone steroids, Danielle was hospitalized numerous times each year, admitted repeatedly for multiple blood transfusions due to morbidly low hemoglobin levels.
Left with a choice between surgery or a life-long weekly treatment with harsh side effects, Danielle began her own research to explore other options. A friend’s success on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) led Danielle to give it a try, only eating grain-free, sugar-free, starch-free, and unprocessed foods. Although no doctor would support a dietary change as a part of her treatment, Danielle realized that she could take things into her own hands to achieve real results.
Cooking by Necessity
Danielle noticed improvement, but committing to a new, drastically different diet was not easy. When her son was just 9 months old, she had an extreme setback which caused her to be hospitalized yet again and required multiple blood transfusions. She began eliminating more food groups including grains, lactose and legumes, following a plan that closely mimicked the Paleo diet. Seeing drastic progress after just 48 hours, Danielle began dedicating her free time to creating delicious comfort foods that could be enjoyed on a restricted diet. She focuses on flavors and textures, refusing to feel deprived despite her limited food choices.
Sharing her Success
Danielle started her blog, Against All Grain, to help others suffering from similar ailments continue to enjoy food. Her recipes are all entirely grain-free, and consequently gluten-free, free of refined sugars, and minimal to no dairy. Most are appropriate for those following the Paleo, Primal, SCD, GAPS, and gluten-free lifestyles, and more. With her acquired culinary skills, love for food, and an equal love for journalism, she has become a source of hope for others suffering from similar allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Fostering a large, but loyal following on her blog, Danielle expanded beyond the internet and released her first cookbook, Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great, in July, 2013, followed by the release of Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime in September, 2014. Her third cookbook Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion hit shelves in September, 2016. With over 776,000 likes on Facebook, Danielle has become a beacon of hope in the food community. Danielle lives in the San Francisco area with her husband and sons.