In high school, I was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease that affects different tissues of the body. After being on medication for a few years for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis – a common symptom of lupus – I took it upon myself to learn about the ways in which I might be able to live with an auto-immune disease free from prescription medicine and ultimately, free from symptoms. My initial research revealed the important role that diet plays in the relief of symptoms of individuals living with lupus and other auto-immune diseases. Suggestions of diet and nutrition specific to lupus not only led me to rewrite my diet, but also sparked what would become years of further research, trial-and-error, and eventually, my Master's thesis.

Live Free From is a blog about diet, fitness, and overall health and well-being. My approach to maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle is to Live Free From:

1.     "nutritional confusion"*
2.     manufactured additives and preservatives
3.     illness and disease

Through years of research, I have learned a great deal about the effects of certain nutrients on the body (the good and the bad) and the ways in which the less favourable effects can be avoided by choosing real, whole foods. I have sourced numerous writers, physicians, and other professionals within the field. In doing so, I have encountered a myriad of different opinions regarding health and nutrition, many of which contradict one another. Thus, in addition to placing emphasis on freeing ourselves from manufactured additives and chemicals in particular foods, I also think that we must free ourselves from "nutritional confusion." One day, we are told to consume more whole grains, while the next day we are encouraged to avoid grains all together and to consume only meat and vegetables. With so many different sources of information and this information constantly changing, what advice are we to follow? With a growing interest in nutritional confusion and soon after, nutritional literacy, I wrote my Master's thesis (The Importance of Nutritional Literacy and the Significance of Food Packaging in Food Choices).

And, here I am.

Despite having learned a lot about the diet-health connection through my own personal research and for academic purposes, there is still so much I am learning about the topic each and every day. And, while I have discovered a couple of approaches that help to alleviate my symptoms, I am still searching for answers. My most recent interests pertaining to health and nutrition are prevention (and even the reversal) of illness and disease through diet.

It is my hope that with the help of this blog I will inspire others to reconsider the ways in which they look at their health and well-being, specifically with regards to the diet-health connection, but also through a generally healthy lifestyle of diet and fitness.

*"Nutritional confusion" is a term first developed by Gyorgy Scrinis and later popularized by Michael Pollan. The term describes the state in which consumers find themselves when faced with constant, often contradicting nutritional information.