Spotlight on Melissa of Gluten Free for Good

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

Today is the last day of Celiac Awareness Month. I’ll keep spreading gluten-free awareness here at gfe every month but, I do want to bring this month to a fitting close. I don’t know any better way to do that than with a brief, well-deserved spotlight on my dear friend and fellow gluten-free blogger, Melissa McLean Jory, especially since today is Melissa’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Melissa!

I found Melissa’s blog nearly 3 years ago. I had made my way there via the blog of another mutual gluten-free blogger and good friend, Steve, of Gluten-Free Steve. Melissa specializes in Nutrition Therapy and Exercise Science. To put it frankly she really knows her stuff and lives it—with the exercise part being demonstrated by these snapshots of Melissa’s “spur of the moment,” 45-minute routine on the backyard trampoline of another friend’s children. Fortunately for us, she shares all of her knowledge and passion on food and exercise … in the best possible way. The fact that she has celiac disease and lives gluten free is just an added bonus for all of her readers—perhaps a simple, healthy strawberry topping on a lovely bowl of homemade ice cream, if you will. Melissa “gets” those of  us who are gluten free and how critical nutrition and exercise are to our healing, but her guidance can be applied to all. Her posts usually get me to look at topics in a completely different way. That’s usually helped by her well-placed tidbits of facts and humor (more on that in a moment). Melissa’s also a self-professed science nerd. One of her “guilty pleasures” is blood chemistry classes. Mine is America’s Got Talent. Seriously, on both counts. Although I do share Melissa’s fascination with many scientific and medical subjects (especially those related to celiac and gluten intolerance), my eyes cross and my brain goes numb the minute some of the “nerdy” terms start getting tossed around. Thankfully, I’ve got Melissa to decipher them all and translate the subject matter into real English for me.

The first post I commented on at Melissa’s blog was Sugar A Good Thing Gone Bad. Even though she wrote that post in 2008, it’s as timely today as it was then. And really that’s pretty much true of all of Melissa’s posts. You could work your way through her entire archives, reading post after post … taking notes and nodding your head. Then you would get busy printing out her recipes and making here recipes. While Melissa would appreciate that I’m sure, she’d probably appreciate it more if you checked out some of her blog and follow along from this point on. You can subscribe to her blog via a reader or email (enter email address on the left side of her blog), “like” Gluten Free For Good on Facebook, and follow her tweets, so you don’t miss a thing she has to share.

In teaching us all how to best nourish our bodies with the proper food and keep them fit with movement, Melissa emphasizes “self-care.” Frankly, most of us fail at self care. Repeatedly. We take care of children, spouses, pets, friends, and parents, but we leave ourselves at the bottom of the list. Case in point, I’m well known for my super lengthy posts that include everything but the kitchen sink. In highlighting Melissa’s fine body of work, I could go on and on and exhaust myself in writing “the best post ever,” but I’d be doing a disservice to all that Melissa’s taught me if I did that. Melissa would urge me—nicely—to get off the computer, go do my yoga, take a walk, and drink a smoothie. So instead of attempting to write the best post ever, I’m going to share 10 (plus 1!) of my favorite posts from Gluten Free for Good and then do what Melissa advises … probably drinking the green smoothie in the car as I’m headed 90 minutes down the road to help Son move to a new apartment today. See what I mean about others being at the top of one’s list and failing at that whole self care thing? I need Melissa so I can continue to do better at it. While I’m working on that, you can check out some of my favorite posts from Melissa.

Gluten-Free Food Rules (part of 30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living series)

For Girls Only (Nutrition for Women)

For Boys Only (Nutrition for Men)

Sugar Part 2—HFCS Commercials

Fuzz Food Inflammation and Movement

Bucket List and Spinach Pesto

Does My Butt Look Big?

The Secret of Gluten-Free Fruity Funk Cereal

Neuron Nutrition Top 8 Brain Foods

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Boyfriend Bait (also featured on BlogHer)

Can Dogs Get Celiac Disease?

For more thoughts on Melissa, you’ll want to check out Diane’s post, Melissa is Gluten Free For Good here. Hope you’ll check out Melissa’s blog and more and give her some birthday love there and elsewhere! I know many of you are already fans and I anticipate more of you will be soon. Some of you who are not familiar with Melissa may even be saying, “Hey, that girl looks familiar …” Well, if you’re a Kroger shopper you probably just saw Melissa on the cover of your Kroger My Magazine for the article “our expert shares her secrets on Enjoying a Gluten-Free Diet.” (Special thanks to another great friend, Wendy of Celiacs in the House, for giving us the heads up via her Facebook page!) Yes, Kroger is sharing Melissa’s wisdom as one their experts. Very lucky Kroger shoppers/readers! I don’ have a Kroger near me, but I can stop into one when I’m “visiting” with Son today. Maybe I can sweet talk someone who works there into giving me a copy. (I believe they are only given to Kroger shoppers who subscribe.) Once again, I’d like to wish Melissa a happy, happy birthday and send her huge thanks for always being my inspiration and gentle voice of reason. I think we would all benefit from Melissa of Gluten Free For Good being in our lives!

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

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Comments

28 Responses to “Spotlight on Melissa of Gluten Free for Good”

  1. Linda on May 31st, 2011 9:34 am

    Thanks for the spotlight. I’ve been to Melissa’s blog before, but didn’t have her in my Google reader. She’s added now. Looks like she has lots of good stuff there, and I just left a comment on her nutrition for men post. My husband will love the one about hops.

    P.S. I love America’s Got Talent!

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:20 pm

      Hi Linda–Glad you’ve subscribed to Melissa’s blog. You will be delighted by her posts. They always entertain me while giving me something to ponder and often giving me great food/recipe ideas, too. Haha on the hops! Yes, Melissa can usually give “us” something good to appease us as she’s also telling us what to stay away from. ;-)

      Shirley

      p.s. Another AGT fan-woohoo! There was quite a bit of talent last night … and the usual bizarre acts. LOL

  2. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on May 31st, 2011 11:24 am

    Happy Birthday to our sweet Melissa! What a wonderful way to honor her on her birthday, Shirley! She always has the most amazing posts, peppered with humor and absolutely fascinating information! Thanks for sharing us with us today, on her special day!! ;)

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:21 pm

      Hi Kim–Spotlighting Melissa was Diane’s wonderful idea! I was happy that I could join in the fun. :-) Melissa is such an inspiration to me and her blog has it all as you said!

      xo,
      Shirley

  3. Ricki on May 31st, 2011 11:47 am

    Thanks for all the info about Melissa! Yes, self-care is extremely important, and I think you’re right–we don’t spend enough time on it (hope Son’s move went smoothly). :)

    I love America’s Got Talent, too (not to mention American Idol)–gotta have *some* guilty pleasures!

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:25 pm

      Hey Ricki–”Self-care” is a struggle despite the fact that most of us know the analogy/advice on putting the oxygen mask on one’s self before helping others. We do a much better job of taking care of the others when we’re not gasping for breath, etc. However, it’s just not our first instinct.

      Son’s move is ongoing. Can’t get into his new apt until Friday. I’ll breathe easier when the UHaul van is safely returned and he’s settled in. This should be his last apt at college!

      Yes, guilty pleasures … we all need our distractions, don’t we? ;-) Last night’s kickoff episode was better than most … some good acts already. :-)

      Shirley

  4. Katie Chalmers on May 31st, 2011 12:07 pm

    Thank you for the fun spotlight on Melissa. She seems like such a spontaneous, healthy person. I love her blog and her unique angles on different topics, especially her “for boys only” or “for girls only” articles and how she doesn’t always focus on the subject of “gluten-free”…but of healthy foods, exercise and activity, too. And of course I like how we both share a love for your roasted chick peas!

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:28 pm

      Hi Katie–You’ve captured Melissa and her blog beautifully! She’s a gift to all of her readers, not just the gluten-free ones or folks who are already super healthy. We can all learn, laugh, and eat well with Melissa! Haha on the roasted chickpea love. BTW, I’m out! I need to stock up for sure. ;-)

      Shirley

  5. Heidi @adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com on May 31st, 2011 1:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing this lovely post on Melissa Shirley! I so appreciate her knowledge and her humorous approach to teaching us about health and nutrition…and I love seeing her on that trampoline!

    Happy Birthday Melissa, I hope you have a remarkable day! :-D

    xo,
    Heidi

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:29 pm

      Heidi–I know … she’s such a gift in the ways you’ve described! She was AMAZING on that trampoline. Hadn’t been on one in years and wasn’t even sore the next day. I was bummed I didn’t get a good photo of one of her flips. Seriously. She did many of them!

      xo,
      Shirley

  6. glutenfreeforgood on May 31st, 2011 2:00 pm

    Shirley,

    Thank you! I’m humbled by your generous spirit and kind (but, overly exaggerated) sentiments. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support and friendship. You are the poster girl for doing kind things for others and I adore you for that. You’re the best!

    Okay, having said that, you are in big trouble, girlfriend. =) I like flying under the radar and having a photo of me jumping on a trampoline splashed across your blog doesn’t qualify for “under the radar” status.

    I’ve never seen America’s Got Talent, but I love American Idol! I can’t believe it, but I have a mild crush on Steven Tyler now. Huh? What is that about?

    Anyway, thank you. But, you’re still in trouble. =)
    Melissa
    xo

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:32 pm

      Melissa–I knew you’d say I exaggerated … LOL … but I did not. Hey you were still under the radar at the height you got on that trampoline. You have to be higher up than even you jumped to get on the radar screens. ;-)

      A crush on Steven Tyler?!! I’m not sure what that’s about … counseling may be needed. Haha.

      It’s worth it to be in trouble this time around! Hope your birthday was splendid and you’re still celebrating! xo,
      Shirley

  7. Alisa Fleming on May 31st, 2011 4:02 pm

    Oh my goodness, this day should be proclaimed Melissa day! I’ve never seen so much blog love for someone. Wonderful information and story Shirley.

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:34 pm

      Hi Alisa–Melissa Day?! I like it. I really like it! Next year for sure. ;-) Thanks, dear. :-)

      Shirley

  8. Karen@Cook4Seasons on May 31st, 2011 5:30 pm

    Great tribute to such a fun and creative gal. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Melissa! With jumps like that, you’ll be young forever:)

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:35 pm

      Hey Karen–Thanks, and I couldn’t agree more on your description of Melissa. My photos don’t do justice to her trampoline expertise, but I know she liked that they were “up close and personal.” I gave her that at least. ;-)

      Shirley

  9. Diane-thewholegang on May 31st, 2011 6:04 pm

    I think we’re in trouble but it was so worth it. Great info on Melissa!

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:36 pm

      Hey Diane–Yes, it was soo worth it! You are the great instigator, my friend! :-) Still catching up on my email and post reading. Don’t *think* I’ve commented on your post on Melissa yet.

      Shirley

  10. Maggie on May 31st, 2011 6:24 pm

    I only recently met the awesomeness that is Melissa! I love her posts, they’re so very informative. Thanks for sharing some of your faves Shirley. I will be checking them out asap!

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:37 pm

      Hey Maggie–Exactly! Awesomeness is a great way to describe Melissa. She’s brilliant and funny and so much more!

      Shirley

  11. Carol, SImply...Gluten-free on May 31st, 2011 10:39 pm

    Oh I am so with you on how fab Melissa is. I am still laughing about her guilty pleasure being blood chemistry classes! Iam more in your leauge but worse, mine is The Real Housewives of…

    Happy Birthday Melissa, you are a beautiful soul and so lucky to have such a wonderful friend in Shirley.

    xo to both of you!
    c

    • Shirley on June 1st, 2011 12:39 pm

      Hey Carol–See we need “nerds” like Melissa (adorable, delightful ones who can relate to the public) while you and I are off pursuing our less worthy guilty pleasures! ;-) She’s the best. :-) You didn’t have to sneak in such sweet words on me, but thanks, dear!

      xo,
      Shirley

  12. Kay Guest on June 3rd, 2011 10:13 am

    Hey Shirley! Melissa is great! Couldn’t remember who she was until I went to the link…she’s the one with the wonderful drawing of a yak at the top of the blog. (celi-yak, so clever and cute!)
    Of course, I feel a special kinship with her…
    like Oprah, I want to use a yak when I have my own production company. :-)
    Kay But seriously, she is great!

    • Shirley on June 3rd, 2011 10:05 pm

      Hey Kay–You always make me smile! :-) So happy you know Melissa already … she is great, isn’t she?

      Happy Friday, dear!
      Shirley

  13. cheryl on June 3rd, 2011 9:24 pm

    Thanks so much for featuring Melissa! Delightful to get to know her better, and she’s another blogger whose passion is only rivaled by her warm heart.

    • Shirley on June 3rd, 2011 10:07 pm

      Cheryl–I so have to agree with you on Melissa. Happy you enjoyed my birthday tribute to her! :-)

      Have a wonderful weekend, Cheryl! It’s moving time, right? No more hotel? ;-) I hope, I hope!
      Shirley

  14. glutenfreeforgood on July 5th, 2011 11:40 am

    Shirley,

    I’m finally (it’s only taken years) figuring out where these little notices are on my WordPress dashboard when someone links to me in some random way. I just got an alert (today), but have no idea why or where other than it came from you and it has to do with this older post (you know, this one where you over-did the exaggerating, etc). =) I had commented right after you posted this, but can’t figure out why I’m being alerted now. Hmmm?

    Anyway, I came to check it out and although I have no idea why I got the notice, I do want to thank you again for your generosity and wonderfully kind spirit. You are a gem! Seriously, the GF blogging world is so lucky to have you. And I’m blessed that you are a friend.

    And thank you to everyone else for your kind comments. It’s TOTALLY embarrassing, but I love you all for your sweet sentiments!

    xoxo

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