Thursday, December 30, 2010


)         Probably the most common emails I receive from strangers on this site are from individuals struggling to figure out why their body hates them (my own words, not theirs).  Essentially, they are comparing their symptoms to mine and would like to know what I did to start the healing process.  Here are my tips if you are starting out:
  • Find a reputable Naturopathic Physician in your area and make an appointment.  Believe me, I spent about 3 months trying to do this on my own and wish I had started at the naturopath’s office from day one.  Find one that has the ability to do laboratory testing for allergies and food intolerances or one that specializes in intestinal health.  I would also emphasize reputable - do your homework when it comes to anyone you are trusting with your health.  If you are in the Portland area, I went to the National College of Natural Medicine teaching clinic
          The support I received was unbelievable.
  • Start a detailed food journal.  Some people respond immediately with symptoms to some foods and have delayed symptoms with others, it is hard to decipher what is going on without writing it down.  This will also help your naturopath understand your symptoms in relation to food you are eating. 
    • In your journal, list exactly what you eat, in the order you eat it, each day.  List the symptoms you experience, in the order you experience them, each day.  Even if you are not sure the symptoms would be related to food (e.g., if you are irritable), list them anyway.
  • Scale back to real food.  It is easier to food-journal when you know what you are eating, rather than processed mish-mosh.  It might also help you generally feel better.  Fruit, vegetables, plain meats, and whole grains are good choices.  Remember, you don’t have to create ‘meals’ – just get enough nutrition and food throughout the day so that you have a balanced diet and aren’t hungry.  While you’re at it, avoid processed sugar!
  • Drink a lot of water.  It flushes toxins.
  • Continue to get moderate exercise.  It took me a while to feel comfortable going for that run or to the gym to lift weights – I felt I needed to baby my body.  However, get out there as much as you can because it’s not only good for your body, it’s good for your psyche.
  • Stick to it.  Whatever your naturopath recommends as treatment, whether it’s an anti-inflammatory diet or a dozen supplements (or both, as was my case), stick to it.  It will help, but it will only help as much as you let it.  Don’t stand in the way of your own healing by ‘cheating’ now and again – this prolongs the healing process.
Can I share your recipes with others?
          Sure, just please give me credit and cite me and my website ( 

I also write a blog, will you link to my page?
          If you also write a food-related blog or maintain a food-related website, I’d love to hear from you!  This is a great way to develop our community.  However, I like to link to blogs and websites that I genuinely enjoy and that I feel my readers would also like to check out.  In short, I don’t link to sites on request only. 

How do I cook for someone else who is gluten free?
          There are number of great resources out there for quick-and-dirty explanations on how to prepare something gluten free.  Check out my post on the topic here, as well as what Shauna Ahern has to say on the Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, as well as Karina's (The Gluten Free Goddess) cheat sheet.

Daring to Thrive Operational Policies

·            Restaurant reviews and placement
 You’ll notice I have a growing list of gluten-free and gluten friendly restaurants on Daring to Thrive.  These are places I have either personally visited or were recommended to me by other Portlanders.  My goal in listing these restaurants is to provide a place to start for those either living in Portland or visiting Portland, but I do not necessarily endorse any of these places.  Some of them are awesome.  Some of them may be terrible.  I haven’t had a chance to personally check out each one, but I want to at least provide the information of a restaurant’s existence and others can decide for themselves what they think.  As far as the gluten-safety of these restaurants, all I can say is: always ask questions at any restaurant regarding the gluten-friendliness of menu options.  I do not write paid restaurant reviews.

·    Product reviews and placement
When I review a product, I always state whether I received the product free from the creator/manufacturer or whether I purchased the product myself (occasionally I receive things from friends and family as well and note that).  If you are interested in sending me a product to review, please know that even if choose to accept it, I may or may not review the product on my site.  Choosing to review a product depends on whether I feel my readers would benefit from the review (either positive or negative); I don’t review products just to review products.  I do my best to try to accept only products I think might be helpful to my readers to review, but sometimes I just don't know until I've tried it out.  The gluten free products I really truly love are added to the list on Daring to Thrive in my favorite gluten free products column.  I do not write paid product reviews.

·    Comments
All comments are moderated, though I am thankful I rarely have to delete inappropriate comments.  I love the ability we have to comment on one another's recipes and stories and I believe this helps us build on what is already an awesome gluten-free community of bloggers, so keep the comments coming.  However, please don’t comment simply to add links back to your site or as a means of product placement – this breaks my heart – and I don’t publish them.

·    Freelance inquiries
If you would like to contact me about freelance writing for your magazine, newsletter, or otherwise, please email me at lmdenneson [at] gmail [dot] com.