Meat-free, Dairy-free, Gluten-Free, Oh My!

As many of you know, my health has been a bit troubled the past few years due to severe inflammation in my joints.  I have spent countless hours going to doctor appointments, surgery, physical therapy and having a battery of tests done.  All of this resulted in a 'best guess' diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, with my rheumatologist saying that medication was the only way to ease my aching joints and all of the unpleasant side effect that came along with it. (I won't bore you with the details.)

As you can imagine, I was not satisfied with this and continued doing research, hoping to find a more natural way of treating (or curing! curing would be good!) this awful inflammation.  So I gave up all dairy.  Not quite going the whole vegan route but knowing that others have experienced some relief with similar joint issues by kicking dairy to the curb.  I also decided I would see an ND (naturopathic physician), and as luck would have it a very well-known ND specializing in inflammation has an office just ten minutes away from my work!

I had a very successful (hour and a half!) appointment with her yesterday and am waiting on pins and needles to find out the results of a variety of blood tests - including lyme disease, adrenal fatigue, MTHFR gene mutation, and several others.  I also learned that eliminating dairy as a kid would likely have stopped my ever-present ear infections -- who knew?!  I can hardly explain all of the wonderful information I received from her, but it was by far the most comprehensive doctor's appointment I have ever had.  

At the recommendation of my ND, I am also eliminating gluten from my diet, which feels a bit overwhelming.  So let's see, I am meat-free, dairy-free and now gluten-free?!  It's a lot and I know it is doable and am sure that many others have made this transition just fine, but for the moment it feels like a lot to pay attention to.  With all of these restrictions, it also has me questioning, what can I eat?!  

So basically I am educating myself on how to read labels for hidden gluten and keeping a running list of recipes that I know I will love, just so I have some ideas on hand for those moments of frustration.

And now to hurry up and wait for those lab results to come in...