Hi, I’m Julia!
Plant-based foodie dedicated to the clean eats movement.
My deep dive into a healthier lifestyle really took off after meeting my husband who lives with eight different food allergies. A passion for cooking and desire to find meals we could share together lead to Feast Freely coming about. It began as a personal pinboard of adapted recipes that met our dietary needs, and has now blossomed into a catalogue of over one hundred allergy friendly recipes. Feast Freely is meant to serve as inspiration for others living with food allergies, those seeking a clean diet, and plant-based enthusiasts alike. All recipes can be sorted based on dietary restrictions and intolerances making it easy to filter out anything you can’t consume.
Back in 2013 I was fed up with walking through life in a foggy daze of fatigue. I decided a blood test was in order, and when results came back showing an under-functioning thyroid, my physician was as surprised as I was. With no family history of hypothyroidism, and no clue what purpose the thyroid even served in the body, I knew I had some reading to do. My research uncovered that two foods are non-negotiable for thyroid health: gluten and soy.
My initial fear of restructuring my diet, which at the time consisted of mostly bread and pasta, quickly subsided after reading all the success stories. An important consideration was that there could be no easing into it, or simply doing my best to cut most of the gluten from my life, I had to be all-in to prevent further immune destruction. I went straight home and cleansed my kitchen of all things gluten.
At first soy seemed like a simple food to avoid, I thought it would be as easy as skipping the edamame at restaurants. As it turns out, soy is a very common food additive and can be found in everything from chocolate to veggie burgers. Most recently I was drinking a cup of Earl Grey tea and came to find the tea bag was filled with an unnecessary blend of tea leaves and soy lecithin.
As with anything, there is a learning curve. The first step is to purge your home of any trace of the foods you’re avoiding. The same goes for dieting, you can’t possibly expect yourself to stay away from the tub of ice cream you have safely tucked away in your freezer. Best to just rid yourself of the temptation altogether. Next, it’s important to educate yourself on common sources of the allergens in question. In my case, knowing to ask restaurants what oil they use to fry their food as this is very often soybean oil, or finding out that sushi rice is typically made with rice vinegar that, more often than not, contains gluten.
These newfound food restrictions started me on a path of clean eating, and I’ve never felt better!