Related to: 'The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen Cookbook'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Aidan Goggins

Aidan Goggins (www.aidangoggins.com) and Glen Matten www.glenmatten.com) are leading authorities on all things health-related. Aidan is a pharmacist and both hold a Master's degree in Nutritional Medicine. Together, they wrote the award winning The Health Delusion and frequently feature as health experts in the media. As leaders in their field their expertise is highly sought after. Aidan is set to run Europe's leading nutritional medicine clinics in Ireland's top private medical clinic The Beacon Consultants' Clinic Dublin, and the prestigious London Clinic in Knightsbridge. Glen heads up nutrition at KX, one of Europe's most prestigious private member's health clubs. Between them, they boast a star-studded client base including heavy weight boxing champion David Haye, English Rugby star James Haskell, Olympic heroes Sir Ben Ainslie and Anthony Ogogo, model and TV personality Jodie Kidd, and TV chef Lorraine Pascale.

Ann Louise Gittleman

Ann Louise Gittleman holds an MS in NutritionEducation from Columbia University, the titleof Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) fromthe American College of Nutrition, and a PhDin Holistic Nutrition. The bestselling authorof more than thirty books, Gittleman has alsoserved as the Chief Nutritionist of the PediatricClinic at Bellevue Hospital and is the formerDirector of Nutrition at the Pritikin LongevityCenter in Santa Monica, California. She currentlysits on the Advisory Board for the InternationalInstitute for Building-Biology & Ecology, theNutritional Therapy Association, Inc., and ClearPassage, Inc.

Calgary Avansino

Calgary Avansino is a journalist and healthy living advocate. Born in California, Calgary now lives and works in London and writes a wellness column for Vogue, where she is a contributing editor. She also writes a healthy living column for The Sunday Times Style magazine. A mum of three, Calgary has a big social media following and is well-known for being at the cutting edge of health, well-being and lifestyle trends. Her own website, www.calgaryavansino.com has become a mecca for anyone interested in reading about and learning about enhancing their health.

Christine Bailey

Christine Bailey, MSc, PGCE mBANT,is an award winning qualified functional nutritionist, chef and food & health consultant. Previously awarded Coeliac Chef of the Year she is well known for her inspirational recipes and nutrition expertise. Christine has the ability to merge cutting-edge nutritional science with the practical application required to make healthy eating achievable for everyone. A member of the Guild of Health Writers, she writes for numerous health, food and fitness magazines and is the author of The Gut Health Diet, Supercharged Green Juices & Smoothie Diet, Functional Nutrition Cookbook and Eat to Get Younger among others. She has been involved in the health industry for over 18 years and is one of the most respected nutritional experts in the UK focused on evidence based Functional Medicine. Having transformed her own life and reversed an autoimmune condition in one of her own children Christine now helps to transform the lives of her clients and readers with her science-based approach and practical, no fuss recipes that are accessible for everyone. Christine is sought after both nationally and internationally speaking at numerous health, food and fitness conferences including The Institute of Functional Medicine IFM in the USA.

David Perlmutter

Dr David Perlmutter is president of the Perlmutter Health Centre in Naples, Florida, and the co-founder and president of The Perlmutter Brain Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American College of Nutrition and the Linus Pauling Award. A frequent lecturer, he writes a blog at VanguardNeurologist.com and is a contributor to The Huffington Post. His previous books include Grain Brain and The Grain Brain Cookbook.

Donal Skehan

Donal Skehan has been cooking since age four when he flipped his first pancake! Inspired by a family of passionate foodies, cooking and eating hearty home cooked food has always been a way of life. Donal is the author of seven cookbooks; Fresh was named as one of Good Food magazine's Top 10 cookbooks of the year. He's the host of Saturday Kitchen, star of cookery shows on RTE and The Food Network, and has his own hit YouTube channel. Donal was born and raised in Dublin and is currently living in LA.

Dr Pierre Dukan

Dr Pierre Dukan has been a medical doctor specializing in nutrition since 1973. The author of many works on diet and nutrition, including the bestselling The Dukan Diet, he regularly writes in the press and appears on television.

Ella Mills (Woodward)

Ella Woodward is the author of must-read food blog www.deliciouslyella.com. She has created a hugely successful app to accompany the blog, opened her own deli in central London and launched her own line of energy balls. Ella's debut book Deliciously Ella was a number 1 bestseller when it was first published in January 2015, becoming the fastest selling debut cookery book since records began. It was also named as Amazon's biggest selling book of 2015. She was awarded a prestigious Observer Food Monthly award for Best Food Blog 2015. Her follow-up book, Deliciously Ella Every Day has been another hit bestseller. Ella discovered her passion for plant-based recipes after being diagnosed with a rare illness called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS). She couldn't walk down the street, slept for 16 hours a day and was in chronic pain most of the time. Conventional medicine failed to help her, so she decided to completely overhaul her diet and overnight the self-confessed 'sugar-monster' gave up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar and all processed food. The results were incredible. Though initially far from confident in the kitchen, Ella started blogging about her new approach to food and posting recipes, and quickly amassed a huge online following.

Glen Matten

Aidan Goggins (www.aidangoggins.com) and Glen Matten www.glenmatten.com) are leading authorities on all things health-related. Aidan is a pharmacist and both hold a Master's degree in Nutritional Medicine. Together, they wrote the award winning The Health Delusion and frequently feature as health experts in the media.As leaders in their field their expertise is highly sought after. Aidan is set to run Europe's leading nutritional medicine clinics in Ireland's top private medical clinic The Beacon Consultants' Clinic Dublin, and the prestigious London Clinic in Knightsbridge. Glen heads up nutrition at KX, one of Europe's most prestigious private member's health clubs.Between them, they boast a star-studded client base including heavy weight boxing champion David Haye, English Rugby star James Haskell, Olympic heroes Sir Ben Ainslie and Anthony Ogogo, model and TV personality Jodie Kidd, and TV chef Lorraine Pascale.

Gordon Ramsay

Scottish by birth, Gordon was brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. With an injury prematurely putting an end to any hopes of a promising career in football, he went back to college to complete a course in hotel management and his dedication and natural talent led him to train with some of world's leading chefs.In 1993 Gordon became chef of Aubergine in London and within three years was awarded two Michelin stars. In 1998, at the age of 31, Gordon set up his own restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which quickly received the most prestigious accolade in the culinary world - three Michelin stars. One of only four chefs in the UK to maintain three stars, Gordon was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to the industry.Now internationally renowned, Gordon has opened a string of successful restaurants across the globe, from Italy to LA. 2011 has proved to be another exciting year and saw the opening of Bread Street Kitchen in London's City district, as well as a venture across the pond in Montreal, Canada.Gordon has become a star of the small screen both in the UK and internationally, with two top rated shows in the US. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen are both into their third and ninth series respectively, whilst his latest show, Masterchef US, is now in its second series and is proving to be another massive hit with viewers. Gordon has also published a number of books, many of which have become best sellers across the world, notably his autobiography, Roasting in Hell's Kitchen.Gordon lives with his wife and four children in South London, along with their two bulldogs Rumpole and Romeo.

Helen Russell

Helen Russell is a journalist and the bestselling author of The Year of Living Danishly and Leap Year. Formerly editor of MarieClaire.co.uk, she now lives in Denmark and works as a Scandinavia correspondent for the Guardian, as well as writing a column on Denmark for the Telegraph and features for The Times, The Observer, Grazia, The Wall Street Journal and the Independent.

James Haskell

James Haskell is an internationally renowned athlete and professional rugby player, with extensive experience of playing at the highest level all around the world. Well known for his performances on the pitch, it is James's elite athleticism and commanding physique that has seen him become one of the most recognisable sportsmen of his generation.James's rugby career has seen him play for leading teams in London, Paris, Japan and New Zealand, and to date he has earned 70 (and counting!) international caps for his country. His globetrotting endeavours have seen him work closely with some of the world's best coaches, trainers and nutritionists, allowing him to amass a wealth of knowledge that enables him to remain at the very top of his game. James's passion for nutrition and training has held the key to his continued success; and it is this burning passion that has seen the development of one of the most cutting-edge, dynamic fitness brands in the world today - James Haskell Health and Fitness.

Joe Cross

Joe Cross' personal story of transformation was chronicled in the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which has been seen by more than 20 million people worldwide. The incredible response to screenings of the film inspired Joe to create Reboot with Joe, making the tools, information and support available to enable anyone to reclaim their wellbeing. His second film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 charts the next stage of Joe's journey of health. He is the author of The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet and The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Recipe Book, and spends time between Australia and the US, always with a juice in hand.

Mark Hyman

Mark Hyman, MD, is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and founder and director of The Ultra-Wellness Center. He is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Eat Fat, Get Thin, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, and The Blood Sugar Solution.

Melissa Hartwig

Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig are the authors of US hit It Starts With Food and Melissa is a Certified Sports Nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition, and is a current candidate for a Masters degree in Health and Nutrition Education from Hawthorn University. Dallas co-owned with Melissa a strength and conditioning facility until co-founding Whole9. In 2012, he founded his functional medicine practice, mentoring under one of the most respected practitioners in the country, Dr. Daniel Kalish. They live in Salt Lake City.

Mike Mcinnes

Mike McInnes studied pharmacy at Heriot-Watt College. Mike has worked as a pharmacist but focuses his attention on sports nutri­tion, researching the specifics of energy partition and selection during exercise. His research led him to believe that honey could be the Gold Standard fuel for forward provisioning the brain, via the liver, during exercise and stocking up for recovery. Mike lives in Edinburgh with his wife Theresa. They have four children: Christine, Stuart, Graham and Janet and three grand­children: Oskar, Rob and Isla, all of whom love honey

Paul Jenner

Paul Jenner is a writer and journalist specializing in lifestyle subjects. He lives with his partner, three horses, two dogs and two sheep, in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees, where, when he's not working, he enjoys hiking, riding, cycling, sailing, swimming, diving and snowboarding. His other books include Teach Yourself Living Longer, Living Well and Teach Yourself Happiness.

Rhiannon Lambert

Rhiannon Lambert is a Nutritionist specialising in weight management, eating disorders and sports nutrition. She is the founder of Rhitrition, a leading Harley Street private clinic and author of Re-Nourish: A Simple Way To Eat Well. Registered with the Association for Nutrition (AFN), Rhiannon obtained a first-class Bachelor (BSc) degree in Nutrition and Health and a Master's (MSc) degree in Obesity, Risks and Prevention. She is also a Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and Obesity having obtained a Diploma approved by The British Psychological Society (BPS) from The National Centre For Eating Disorders. Her qualified approach to nutrition and total dedication to her clients' needs has seen Rhiannon work with some of the world's most influential people. Website - http://Rhitrition.com/Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/Rhitrition/Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rhitrition

Thomasina Miers

When Thomasina Miers first arrived in Mexico aged eighteen, she fell so in love with its food that she went back to live there, opening up a cocktail bar in Mexico City and using her free time to travel the country and cook with some of Mexico's top chefs. After returning to London and winning BBC2's MasterChef in 2005, Thomasina opened the Mexican street food cantina, Wahaca. She is the co-editor of Soup Kitchen and the author of Cook, Wild Gourmets, Mexican Food Made Simple, Wahaca - Mexican Food at Home and Chilli Notes. Tommi lives in London wiht her husband and two daughters.

Veganuary

Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.