My name is Maggie and I am a 20 year old college student, about to begin my junior year at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing.  I am passionate about living an active lifestyle, love running, and am a former lacrosse player.  While I’ve always been a healthy eater, I started this blog to document my new dietary journey as I begin an anti-inflammatory diet.

In the spring of 2010, I began experiencing random foot swelling which progressed to swelling in my knees.  A rheumatologist did the bloodwork to determine I had a positive antigen for the HLA-B27 gene. This gene codes for a multitude of arthritis type inflammatory processes that can be triggered by an environmental factor.  One of the conditions that can occur through this gene is a reactive arthritis, set in motion by a gastrointestinal illness such as salmonella.  I had such an illness in the spring, which may have caused the joint issues to occur.

It is unsure whether or not this arthritis will last a few years, or the rest of my life, but I am already taking daily medications to help control the process.  I have decided to not only try the drugs, but also take a more dietary approach.  Recommended by a doctor who lives next door, I am going to limit dairy and animal fats while boosting my intake of healthy fats, the monounsaturated fats found in avocado, fish, and nuts.

Amidst all of the healthy eating, my blog also has a fun side to it- after all, I am a college student.  I plan on tracking the eats and challenges of this big change throughout my blogging days and hopefully gathering some readers who can relate or gain any tips!


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