My name is Pooja Parikh. I am 29 years old and I live in Edmond, Oklahoma.
I originally started this blog with no real direction. I planned on blogging about whatever came to mind, whenever it came to my mind. As I’ve thought more about it, I’ve gained a little more insight into what I’m wanting to convey.
I have a disease called Hidradenitis Suppurativa, which has determined much of my life throughout the past several years (you can read about my story here). My family and I have been through more than I could have ever imagined–in less than a year’s time, I went from running my first full marathon to being so sick that I was in a wheelchair and completely dependent on others for menial tasks like brushing my teeth or feeding myself. I know and have experienced the true horror of this disease, and I want to try to provide any advice/help/support to anyone suffering from it as well.
Additionally, I want to explore the relationship between physical health and mental health, as well as the obstacles involved in managing to steer through life while dealing with chronic illness. The only thing I’m really an expert at is the art of making mistakes, but hopefully I can provide some perspective from my own experiences and start some conversations about the acceptability of mistakes and the importance of learning from them.
Five years ago, I tried an elimination diet using the Paleo Diet as a base and later reintroducing foods to find what foods were potential triggers for me. At that time, I found that nightshades were my main triggers, and I have steered clear of them since then. Now I am on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP–hence the name AIPooja!), which I’ve learned is more of a lifestyle than simply a diet. I’m seeking healing, peace, wellness, and some sense of normalcy.
I read various fitness/health/food blogs, and although I love them and keep up with them on a regular basis, there is a large part of me that feels unable to relate. The various Paleo blogs I read inspire me, but I am often unable to access or afford some of the ingredients they use, so I tend to improvise to find ways to get creative with food. Another large limiting factor for me is time–as a working grad student, it can be difficult to spend large amounts of time in the kitchen. Most of the recipes and tips I share on this blog will help those who want to try Paleo/AIP, but feel like they have too busy of a schedule to fully commit.
One person (yes, person) who will most likely pop up on here from time to time is Margo. She is my favorite person and ultimate source of support. And bonus: she loves vegetables just as much as I do. Here’s Margo:
One thing that I feel is necessary to mention is that anything I explain on my blog is based on my own understanding. Do not take my words as proof for facts, but please feel free to correct me if need be. And I’m always willing to provide more information (through reputable sources) if there are questions or confusion!