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I hadn’t been feeling well for quite a few months and last month I decided it was time to quit ignoring my body and get a professional opinion.  It was one of those things where you don’t have anything specific you can complain about so you think your doctor will just tell you to get more rest and reduce stress (blah blah blah).  Through a recommendation from a trusted friend, I found a fantastic ND (naturopathic doctor – the best of both worlds; they can prescribe medication but try to take the holistic route first).  After a litany of blood work and some other tests I’ll spare the details of, we determined i’m gluten AND soy intolerant.  WHAT? Me? The food lover? My brain instantly ran through a grand list of foods and restaurants I’d no longer be able to enjoy. And then I choked back the tears. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but I’m great at embellishing.

As soon as I left her office, I got on the phone with my best friend – Google.  I was literally in the doctor’s parking lot, googling “gluten free” and “soy free”.  Since I didn’t see anything blaring at me in big block letters that qualified it as a death sentence, I decided to take a deep breath and do a more in depth search when I got home.  It seems I’m not the only one that loves food AND has to deal with this… there are some fantastic bloggers out there who are gracious enough to share their triumphs, woes and best of all, recipes.  Here are the few that I’ve found and am already in love with:

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef – Not only does Shauna have an inspiring story about how being gluten free has finally let her live but she and her husband (a chef, no less) share their recipes and life in a way that keeps me coming back for more. I’m especially excited to try my hand at creating the Gluten Free Glazed Doughnuts – I don’t eat doughnuts very often but it was one of the things I was most disappointed to lose as an indulgence.

Gluten Free Gourmand – You had me at grilled artichoke. And grilled artichoke over an open flame? Be still my beating heart.  I appreciate the combination of encouragement to grow my own food, delicious recipes and highlights of restaurants that feature GF menu items… looks like a trip to Portland is in my near future (and maybe Denver and Australia… I just follow the trail of good food and mmm… beer).

Choosing Voluntary Simplicity – Soy allergies aren’t nearly as well covered on the internet as gluten.  Not only am I grateful for the tips on hidden soy (canned tuna, anyone?), I find Shirley’s way of living refreshing.  I’m not likely to give up my crazy lifestyle (okay, not all that crazy) and live this simply any time soon, but I have a firm appreciation for it and come here often for recipes and a reminder to slow down a bit and enjoy LIFE.  I highly recommend you read about why they choose to live this way.

I know there are many others that I’m sure I’ve missed or have yet to discover, but for now I acknowledge and thank the three that give me hope that it’s possible to make it a lifestyle and still have FUN with food.  In the short three weeks that I’ve been gluten and soy-free, I’m already regaining my life (and energy) back – what a wonderful thing!